What does Harvard sociology professor Orlando Patterson see when he watches Hillary Clinton’s “3 a.m.” TV ad? Birth of A Nation. No, really. From the New York Times:
I couldn’t help but think of D. W. Griffith’s “Birth of a Nation,” the racist movie epic that helped revive the Ku Klux Klan, with its portrayal of black men lurking in the bushes around white society. The danger implicit in the phone ad — as I see it — is that the person answering the phone might be a black man, someone who could not be trusted to protect us from this threat.
The evidence of this? The children in the ad were not African American. At best they were “ambiguous.” He also finds it “significant” that the ad was used in Texas, where Clinton led narrowly among whites, and not in Ohio, where she had a comfortable lead. (And don’t make any lame crypto-racist excuses about only spending money where it’s needed! Stop that rationalizing right now!)
Read the whole thing to appreciate how remarkable it is that Harvard employs, and no doubt celebrates, scholars whose reasoning is so specious that . . . well, I was going to write that “they would not pass a freshman class in logic at Harvard.” But maybe that isn’t quite right.