GOP TV Ad In Texas Is Using Reparations As A Wedge

A right-wing political action committee put up a TV ad on Friday indirectly highlighting the racial differences between Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and his Democratic challenger, Rep. Colin Allred.

The ad shows a Latina woman talking about how hard her family has always worked and how she would resent the government paying African Americans reparations for slavery — and falsely suggesting that Allred, who is Black, supports doing so.

“Colin Allred’s group would take our tax dollars to pay for reparations,” the unidentified woman says in the ad. “I’m not okay with it.”

Allred’s “group,” per text on the screen, is the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, an organization affiliated with the Congressional Black Caucus — a Capitol Hill group that counts most Black lawmakers, including Allred, as members.

But Allred, a moderate, is not one of the 130 cosponsors of H.R. 40, the main pro-reparations legislation on Capitol Hill. The bill itself would not make the government pay reparations — it would establish a commission to study and develop proposals for doing so. Even if Congress passed the bill, which is unlikely anytime soon, lawmakers would have to vote again to actually pay anyone.

“This ad is blatantly false, and is a desperate attack from lying Ted Cruz and his special interest backers to distract Texans from his extreme record,” an Allred campaign spokesman told HuffPost in an email.

The reparations ad, by Win It Back PAC, does showcase an important dynamic in the Texas Senate race. Latino residents make up 40% of the state’s population, and a 2021 Pew survey suggests a significant majority of Latino voters nationwide oppose reparations.

During the Democratic primary earlier this year, Allred’s more progressive opponent, state Sen. Roland Gutierrez, suggested to a supporter during a campaign event that a Black candidate would have a disadvantage against Cruz, who is Latino.

“I’m telling you, it’s not Allred. I mean, it’s gonna be a Hispanic candidate, a strong Hispanic candidate,” Gutierrez said, according to a recording obtained by the Daily Beast.

Win It Back PAC put $19,000 behind the reparations ad, according to the group AdImpact Politics. That’s not a lot of money, and suggests the ad is mostly a bid for media attention.