Between 1975 and 1985, a sitcom called The Jeffersons ran on CBS. It was notable for hardly anything at all, save that a lot of white people thought it was an accurate portrayal of African-American life. Which, of course, it wasn’t.

Apparently, that’s the same kind of thinking that went into the soon-to-air Vote No! radio commercial. I mentioned it briefly yesterday, primarily because I thought it was a joke. But I learned this morning that it is dead serious — take a listen, and see if it makes any sense to you.

Frankly, this is getting embarrassing, that I have to keep telling the other side how to run its campaign. How can they not realize that, regardless of one’s views on the Belo Parkway, that this is a bad commercial? Not only is it confusing, but it’s patronizing. The commercial sounds like something that a bunch of white ad execs would write as a joke during a three-martini lunch. What’s next, a Tejano-themed commercial playing off a La Mafia hit for Hispanic voters?

Several people I talked to are convinced that Vote No! is playing the race card with this commercial, gambling that they can drum up black votes in south Dallas by portraying the anti-toll road side as racists who want to keep south Dallas down. I’m not going to go that far — Mayor Park Cities hasn’t inspired me with confidence, but he hasn’t sunk that low, either.

Instead, it’s just another example of how bankrupt the anti-toll road side is — creatively and politically. It seems they have written off the Anglo parts of town, and this is the best they can do. Which is pretty sad, as anyone who has had to watch the Jeffersons can attest.



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