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John Kerry is an easy target for the GOP - Part II

By Scott Tibbs, February 09, 2004

I have recently commented on the fact that John Kerry was the Lieutenant Governor for Michael Dukakis and supported the prison furlough program that let Willie Horton free to terrorize an innocent family. Some are saying the Horton ad 16 years ago is "racist" because the picture played on fears of violent black men.

Was the use of Horton's picture "racist" because he looked scary? Simply using the picture of Horton was "racist"? Take a look at the pictures: to the left is a picture of Joseph P. Smith. To the right is a picture of Willie Horton. Smith is the freak who was recently arrested for murdering an 11-year-old girl. He also looks scary. If Willie Horton looked like Smith, would people have accused George H.W. Bush of exploiting people's irrational racial fears?

No, there would have been no such reaction. The reason the Willie Horton ad hurt Michael Dukakis is not because of ingrained racism, but because people have a legitimate fear of violent crime. "Racism" was used as a Red Herring to distract from the real issue: That Dukakis implemented a bad program that resulted in a horrible tragedy. And John Kerry supported that program.