Black American church leaders have accused Donald Trump of inciting “white terrorism” against people of color and depicting churchgoers as “thugs” in a presidential election campaign ad.
They are calling for the advertisement’s removal from display and federal protection from any bias or threats it could provoke.
The video, named Meet Joe Biden’s Supporters, is online and includes violent scenes of burning buildings and police cars followed by footage of the Democratic presidential nominee kneeling in front of the altar at Bethel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) church alongside Black clergy members and community leaders in his hometown of Wilmington, Delaware.
The apparent voice of Vice-President Mike Pence is heard saying, “You won’t be safe in Joe Biden’s America.” It then cuts to text that reads: “Stop Joe Biden and his rioters.”
The AME church on Monday denounced the ad, which they said links the church to violence and implies “that those who gathered there are ‘thugs’”. Meanwhile, the Bethel pastor Silvester Beaman told Religion News Service (RNS): “The ad is overtly racist and offensive on numerous levels.”
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