NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - The NAACP of New Orleans says a Republican candidate for lieutenant governor should stop airing a political ad that uses a racial slur.
The ad is from State Sen. Elbert Guillory, R-Opelousas. It shows Guillory having a "dreamed" conversation with Martin Luther King, Jr. Then, the ad uses an an audio clip that Guillory says is from Democratic President Lyndon B. Johnson allegedly using a racial slur after he signed the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Guillory said the ad is truthful, accurate and intended to show voters an important part of history.
"People who are trying to deflect our attention away from the truth and to talk about the offensive word that LBJ used, not Elbert Guillory, LBJ the President of the United States used - those people have an ax to grind in this," Guillory said. "They want to distract us away from the truth in the ad and keep us voting for a Democrat for the next 200 years just like the man said."
But not everyone sees it that way.
"I say shame, shame, shame on Mr. Guillory," said New Orleans NAACP Chapter President Morris Reed, who said Guillory should pull the ad.
"Certainly, invoking the name of Dr. Martin Luther King in such a derogatory ad is sacrosanct, in my opinion, and it shouldn't be done," Reed said "It's not going to help his candidacy, in my opinion. Folks may see it, but I don't think it's going to boost his credibility in the African- American community, if that is what he is trying to do, and, drive a wedge between black Democrats and white Democrats. Is that the purpose of it? What's the purpose?"
FOX 8 political analyst Mike Sherman says while the ad may have gotten people talking about his candidacy, it hasn't created any momentum for his campaign.
"Senator Guillory is trying to attract African-Americans to the Republican party," Sherman said. "This has been a challenge for the Republican party at a national level. I don't understand the strategy behind how this ad will accomplish that objective. It doesn't seem to make sense."
Despite the criticism, Guillory is standing by his ad, and is trying to get it aired on other TV stations. The ad aired Sunday night in New Orleans. Guillory said his campaign is working to get it air time in Baton Rouge, as well.