Harold Ford Jr: Where the white women at?

by Carmen Van Kerckhove

UPDATE 10/26/06: I completely forgot about the incident earlier this month where the Corker campaign actually darkened a photo of Ford, in the same manner as that infamous Time magazine cover that darkened OJ Simpson’s mugshot. Thanks dcase for the reminder! Also, the latest in Ford racialiciousness (thanks Tariq for the tip!) comes from Memphis mayor Willie Herenton, who “sees Ford as getting a full pass on the racial front because of his light skin. ‘He can go places and do things that I can’t,’ says the mayor. As for Herenton himself, who faces reelection next year, ‘I’m just too dark.’” I can’t wait to see what’s next in this racial soap opera of a senate race.

Congressman Harold Ford Jr.’s bid for the Tennessee Senate seat has been quite a racialicious ride. Back in March, we reported that he felt the need to reveal that his grandmother was white — perhaps in a misguided attempt to appeal to white voters? Things then took a bizarre turn when his aunt refuted that claim, declaring that Vera Ford was simply a light-skinned black woman.

A few months later in July, we told you that Gawker received a gossip item about Ford having dinner with a white woman and another interracial couple. The email claimed that passersby were “upset at the jungle fever” and that Ford was a “Southern sellout.” What’s even more despicable than the blatant racism in the gossip item? It was sent to Gawker by high profile New York public relations firm, Rubenstein PR. And the whole thing was an attempt to get press for the restaurant Ford was dining at.

According to MSNBC, his opponent Bob Corker has begun airing a commercial that seems designed to appeal to people’s fears of miscegenation. “In the ad, a young white actress playing the stereotype of a “dumb blonde” talks about meeting Ford, a 36-year-old bachelor who is black, “at the Playboy party.” At the end of the ad, she winks and says to the camera, “Harold — call me.””

I don’t know if it’s funny or sad that the “he’s coming for our women!” tactic still works in 2006.

Here’s the video of the ad, which I found via DiversityInc: