Tell Pete Hoekstra To Get Rid Of His Racist, Sexist Ad (Video)

On Sunday, Michigan politician Pete Hoekstra aired an ad during the Super Bowl against his opponent, Senator Debbie Stabenow. Clearly believing he was being really clever, Hoekstra used a play on words, changing Stabenow’s name to Spend-it-now.

The xenophobic ad portrays a young Chinese woman speaking in broken English about the growth of her country’s economy, apparently at the expense of the U.S.

As a foreign language teacher who speaks three languages, I detest the idea of making fun of people who don’t have a perfect English accent. It is childish and just plain ignorant. I wonder if Pete Hoekstra has ever tried learning Chinese?

But it gets worse. The video directs viewers to an even more racially insensitive website that continues the theme.

As Emily’s List points out:

Hoekstra’s accusations couldn’t be more off base. While he’s busy stirring up negative racial stereotypes, Debbie Stabenow remains a champion for the middle class. She’s keeping her focus on what matters – Michigan families, health care and jobs.

Self-dubbed Pete ‘spend-it-not’ Hoekstra actually spent $75,000 just to air the ad statewide one time during the Super Bowl, and the ad will air for two more weeks in every Michigan television market. He’s demonstrated that he’ll do anything – even make sweeping, offensive racial judgments – in order to win.

The strange mixture of broken English, rice paddies, occasional music, and an attractive young woman riding a bike seemed creepy to me. I wasn’t sure why until I read this, from James Fallows writing in the Atlantic:

The ad’s words are about trade, budgets, and jobs, but its images are about — ‘Nam!!  Of course some parts of southern China look the way this ad does, with rice paddies, palm trees, no big buildings, people wearing conical straw hats and bicycling along dike tops. But this is nothing like how the typical big-factory zone looks in China, or the huge cities that would exemplify Chinese wealth and the country’s rise — ie, the subjects of this ad. So why this rural setting? I think it’s because it offers a kind of visual dog-whistle, for those Americans who, either through experience or through Apocalypse Now-style imagery, associate smiling-but-deceptive Asians in a rice-paddy setting with previous American sorrow.

That’s right: the politics of fear rises again.

If you believe that this advertisement is truly “revolting” (Fallows’ word), please act now by clicking here to tell Hoekstra to stop running the ad immediately and to apologize for perpetuating racist stereotypes.

You can watch Hoekstra’s ad here:

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Photo: Screenshot from youtube video


Eternal Gardener
Eternal G5 years ago

Hoekstra is een ongecultiveerde klei aardappel!

Scott Vonwolf
Scott haakon5 years ago

He is moving to the emotional appeal which means he hopes that emotion rather than reason will win. The GOP is banking on emotion to win this year facts are not as compelling as emotional appeal.

SeattleAnn S.
Ann S5 years ago

OMG, I cannot believe anyone would find that ad amusing. Hoekstra, you're a severe dork. LOL.

Frances C.
Frances C5 years ago

That right wing tea party nut is just another of the Republicans going down the drain. The bad news is they want to drag the rest of us down with them. Vote them out!

Vote Democratic!


Ahti Pursiainen
Ahti Pursiainen5 years ago

I have to check my mailing address.... all these years I thought I was living in the wonderful U.S.. My bad.

Lynda Duke
Lynda Duke5 years ago

I wonder - did he even think about what he was saying when he made fun of her name, of how SHE would feel about his using her video and playing with her name? Lets see, how can I play with his name....the pronunciation of his name Hoeks (sounds like someone coughing up crud....hooooooeks) with straw caught in his throat. Now he'd like that? Not only take the ad off the air but APOLOGIZE to her!!!

Janice M.
Janice Ma5 years ago

The commercial is nasty, true, but China didn't 'take' anything from us; our corporations all too eagerly 'gave'. They gave away all of our jobs to China, Mexico, India and various other countries and now some politicians want to try to blame these countries for it. No, we enacted NAFTA and enabled the corporations to be able to do this to us.

What to do now? I don't know. Put new, heavy tariffs on incoming goods to make it unprofitable to make American products in other countries? Have a boycott of certain companies and try to force them to bring their factories back? Bring back a heavy, progressive tax (such as we previously had) on multi-millionaires and billionaires so they could pay their fair share of supporting this country again? Something has to be done or this country is going down the drain. A fallen empire is not a pretty thing. Soon our enemies will be picking at our bones like vultures.

Danuta Watola
Danuta W5 years ago

Thanks for posting .

Jim Richards
Jim Richards5 years ago

What a jerk -- certainly hope he receives loads of emails ,etc..the fool!

Claire M.
Claire M5 years ago

The add is very flawed and I don't like the way it tries to generate hatred toward another people. Of course it is true that the Chinese economy has grown in part from our own lack of economic defense but the reason is more like because we have stopped spending money to improve our infrastructure and derailed our own corporate regulations that were designed to protect us. We sat back and took more and more money away from our own needs and let it fall into the hands of corporations while giving them the freedom to gamble with it anywhere they wanted. America's economy is like a beautiful river that once flowed naturally into a natural free enterprise market. Then we let Wall Street build a dam and take the flow for their own personal use while leaving the rest of us high and dry.

We need to spend it now and on us. We need our flow back.