A fundraising email sent by the National Republican Congressional Committee isn’t content with the ordinary level of racism involved in attacks on Colin Kaepernick. It ups the ante by purposely darkening the former NFL quarterback’s skin tone substantially. This is just the latest of several incidents in which Republicans have made such changes when directing appeals to their base.
As Yahoo News reports, the ad went out under a banner meant to make a none-too-subtle point: “WHO DO YOU STAND WITH?” it asks in all bold, capital letters. ”DONALD TRUMP AND THE BETSY ROSS FLAG OR ANTI-AMERICAN FLAG COLIN KAEPERNICK?” The implicit racism in the framing of the image is staggering, but the NRCC didn’t stop there. It made the racism of the image deliberately more explicit in a way that was also done with images of Barack Obama, and with images of other African Americans going back decades.
In what is surely not a coincidence, not only is Kaepernick’s skin tone altered, but his jersey has been altered, and the placement of the banner across the image hides the fact that his tattoos are mainly Bible verses reflecting his faith.
And it doesn’t seem to be just Kaepernick who got a touch-up. The image of Donald Trump appears to be a composite based on his appearance at the Faith and Freedom Coalition Conference.