Louisiana Senate Candidate Burns Confederate Flag in Political Advertisement

© Flickr / townheroBattle of the Battleflag: States Move to Dissociate from Confederate Banner
Battle of the Battleflag: States Move to Dissociate from Confederate Banner - Sputnik International, 1920, 11.02.2022
Gary Chambers is running for US Senate in Louisiana, and his message is clear: Black Americans are still suffering under what remains of and imitates systematic inequality structures created by the Confederacy. Though Chambers faces an uphill battle in the race for Senate, his political ads are drawing attention to issues surrounding inequality.
A Wednesday-released campaign ad from the Chambers camp saw the political candidate strategically shaking out a Confederate flag, carefully pinning it to a clothesline, dousing it in gasoline, and lighting it on fire - all while denouncing restrictive voting laws.
The Confederate flag, which was first designed amidst the Civil War, is seen by many as a symbol of racism and white supremacy. Photos from the insurrection on January 6 show many of these same flags, as well as QAnon and Neo-Nazi symbols and slogans, which were toted on clothing attire and flags.
“The attacks against Black people, our right to vote, and participate in this democracy are methodical,” he says in the advertisement’s voiceover. “Our system isn’t broken, it’s designed to do exactly what it’s doing, which is producing measurable inequity.”
This isn’t the first time an ad from Chambers’ campaign has sparked interest on social media. Chambers’ advertisement, in which he smoked a rolled blunt of marijuana while his voiceover listed statistics associated with laws on the drug, generated 6.7 million views since it was posted on January 18.
“Black people are four times more likely to be arrested for marijuana laws than white people,” says Chambers in his January political ad.
Chambers, 36, is a community activist from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He is currently running as the Democratic opponent to Republican Senator John Neely Kennedy, 70, who has held the position since 2017. Kennedy was first elected to the Senate with 61% of the vote in his state, and received former President Donald Trump’s endorsement when he announced his reelection bid last year.
Kennedy has also voiced views on President Joe Biden’s promise to nominate a Black woman to the Supreme Court, saying he wants Biden to put forward a Supreme Court nominee “who’s not going to try to rewrite the Constitution every other Thursday to try to advance a ‘woke agenda.’”
Chambers is facing a daunting race against Kennedy. He says that while there is a perception that Louisiana is mostly conservative, he believes there is still a key demographic who want issues surrounding racial inequality in the state to be addressed. “The demographics of this state say that we can do exactly what Georgia has done,” said Chambers.
“We have a Democrat as our governor right now, which is something that is often lost: the only Democratic governor in the Deep South,” he added. “This is a winnable state.” Louisiana’s population of Black Americans is around 33%.
Erick Sanchez, Chambers’ senior adviser, said that the campaign was pleased with the reception of their advertisements. “Our ads are representative of Gary’s passion to raise awareness for the issues that leave the often forgotten communities in this country behind,” he said. “While the imagery might be deemed controversial by some, the harsh realities that are highlighted in these ads should be infuriating to all.”
Chambers’ involvement in the political race is not a new endeavor, he previously ran for a US House seat but was unable to clinch the win in the Bayou State.
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