Some racist ads are subtle, relying on innuendo and nuance. Some racist ads are more overt.
President Donald Trump on Wednesday released a racially divisive political ad that blames Democrats for allowing an undocumented immigrant who was convicted of killing police officers to stay in the U.S.
The 53-second video, which was pinned to the top of Trump's Twitter feed on Thursday, refers to Luis Bracamontes, who was convicted of, and given the death penalty earlier this year for killing two California police officers in 2014.
Bracamontes had already been twice deported from the United States to Mexico, but he returned illegally. The ad features the convicted killer bragging about his heinous crimes and mocking his victims.
For Donald Trump, this is a partisan matter. "It is outrageous what the Democrats are doing to our Country," the president said in a tweet prompting the ad. The video itself features text that tells views, "Democrats let him into our country. Democrats let him stay. Who else would Democrats let in?"
To the extent that reality has any meaning, Democrats neither let Luis Bracamontes into the United States not allowed him to stay.
But the dishonesty is not at the top of the list of what makes the video offensive. The point, obviously, is the president's effort to divide and terrify. The tool he's chosen to exploit is a video of a Mexican murderer, which is featured alongside random footage of people who might be Hispanic marching and trying to overcome gates.
Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) said of the video, "This is just a new low in campaigning. It's sickening." In a tweet directed at Trump. Al Cardenas, the former chair of the Florida Republican Party, wrote, "This ad, and your full approval of it, will condemn you and your bigoted legacy forever in the annals of America's history books."
I've seen plenty of people compare Trump's new video to the "Willie Horton" ad from 1988. It's a valid comparison, but I tend to think this new ad is worse.