‘Lynching was a tool of terror’: Charles Booker campaign ad shows candidate wearing noose
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - A new campaign ad posted online by US Senate candidate Charles Booker shows the Democrat wearing a noose around his neck.
“The pain of our past persists to this day,” Booker said in the video. “In Kentucky, like many states throughout the South, lynching was a tool of terror. It was used to kill hopes for freedom. It was used to kill my ancestors.”
Booker, the first Black Kentuckian to receive the Democratic nomination for US Senate, said wearing the noose was his decision.
He said the motivation was personal as three of his great-great uncles were lynched in Kentucky.
“That was the hardest thing I’ve ever done,” Booker said. “I felt it was important to help people see what this pain really means.”
“I understand that this ad, this video may and will likely make a lot of people uncomfortable,” Booker added. “My hope is that this discomfort will encourage us to fight for healing, to push for change.”
In the video, Booker also criticized incumbent Senator Rand Paul’s original opposition to the Emmett Hill Antilynching Act, legislation Paul eventually co-sponsored.
A deputy campaign manager for Rand Paul responded to the ad within hours of it being posted.
“Dr. Paul worked diligently to strengthen the language of this legislation and is a co-sponsor of the bill that now ensures that federal law will define lynching as the absolutely heinous crime that it is,” Deputy Campaign Manager Jake Cox said in a statement. “Any attempt to state otherwise is a desperate misrepresentation of the facts.”
In a March editorial published by the Courier Journal, Senator Paul said, “When Congress passes the Emmett Till Antilynching Act, the heinous act of lynching will finally be recognized as a federal hate crime. I am a proud co-sponsor of that legislation, and all Americans should celebrate its imminent passage. But, we should also celebrate the process by which this legislation was crafted because I believe it will inspire renewed faith in our experiment in Republican government.”
“The lynching as an act of terror was just an example of how hate and racism has been used to hold us back, and how Rand Paul has weaponized it for political power,” Booker said about his comments in the video. “And so I’m calling out that contrast in a very powerful and important way.”
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