Lee Atwater is chuckling in his grave.
When Stand for Marriage Maine wanted to put out its first TV ads against same-sex marriage in Maine, it put out an audition notice looking for a nice, well-spoken white woman willing to pretend to be a teacher and read a script. I’m not kidding. Here is the full text of the audition call:
(Portland) Casting ‘Real Maine’ People. (portland, Maine)
Date: 2009-08-27, 3:17PM EDT
Reply to: email@example.com
Looking to audition 40 people per role.
(Portland) Casting two caucasian female roles 35-45 yrs old with MAINE ACCENTS (this job is non-union but pays union scale for 3 days (Sept. 8,9,10,).
Must be comfortable being on camera and learning lines.
Characters to play:
Teacher: 35-45 Speaking Role – talks directly to the camera, well spoken,Caucasian, ‘Maine middle-class’ accent, earnest, compassionate, trustworth
Waitress: 35-45 Speaking Role, talks directly to the camera, caucasian, convincing, ‘real person’, ‘working class’ Maine accent.
Email for more information firstname.lastname@example.org Open Auditions Sept 2nd in Maine. Call Backs Sept 3rd. Second Auditions per call backs Sept. 4th. Thank you!
Location: portland, Maine
it’s NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests
Compensation: SAG Scale
They wrote down the word “caucasian” three times and threw in several euphemisms (“Real Maine,” “Maine Middle Class,” “well-spoken”) just to be sure that auditioning actresses got the point: we want Whites Only, Please!
When TV ads went on the air, they did indeed feature the face of a white woman as a teacher speaking against same-sex marriage:
This was Step 1 in Stand for Marriage Maine’s race-baiting political campaign.
Step 2 was brought to my attention today by our occasional commenter Ralph.
Those who visit the Stand for Marriage Maine web page today are directed to a “landing page” featuring this advertisement:
I expect that when this is brought to the attention of enough people, Stand for Marriage Maine will try to hide the image. So let’s make an archival version: click here for a full-size screen capture of the advertisement image.
The purpose of this advertisement is to scare voters into thinking that under the same-sex marriage law in Maine, their Second Graders will be force-fed teachings about gay sex and same-sex marriage.
To start with, that’s demonstrably false: everyone from journalists all the way up to the Attorney General of Maine has certified that there is nothing in the same-sex marriage law or state law more broadly regarding public school education, or that could even possibly allow the state to mandate such teaching. Under Maine state law, any curriculum about sex ed or marriage is clearly under the control of local school boards, who are further under the control of the local communities who put them there. The passage or rejection of this November”s Ballot Question 1 to outlaw same-sex marriage will have no effect whatsoever upon this.
But Stand for Marriage Maine isn’t interested in sharing the truth here. Stand for Marriage Maine is interested in scaring people with an image of a scary teacher teaching vulnerable little 7 year olds scary things that scare you. Scare, scare, scare. So when Stand for Marriage Maine wanted to roll out a scary teacher doing scary things to vulnerable little kids, what did it do? Use a photo of a scary black woman teaching vulnerable white children. This, Stand for Marriage Maine warns, THIS could happen to your children!
Stand for Marriage Maine’s choices have been clear:
1. When looking for a sympathetic portrayal of a teacher opposed to same-sex marriage, hold auditions for an actress who looks like “Real Maine.” Whites Only Need Apply.
2. When looking to negatively portray what could happen if Mainers vote NO on 1, feature an advertisement with a Scary Black Woman getting bug-eyed in the classroom, opening her mouth to Vulnerable White Children.
Is this the kind of race-baiting schlock that Maine will fall for? Stand for Marriage Maine seems to think so. Ask yourself: is Stand for Marriage Maine the kind of group you want to find yourself standing next to?