As Republicans’ desperate quest for Black friends continues, a GOP pollster is putting the message out that a “Republican victory in 2024” is dependent on the party’s to bring Black voters to MAGA Land.
The pollster demonstrated that sentiment with photos that show Black men in what look like MAGA hats engaging with potential Black voters who appear very interested in getting down with the GOP.
Of course, it appears that the pollster was unable to find actual Black people to pose for photos that purport to illustrate racial diversity in the GOP electorate—so he used images generated by artificial intelligence instead. (And he did it on the eve of Black History Month no less.)
In the first image presented by GOP stooge Patrick Ruffini, a Black man dressed in red, including the MAGA cap, is talking to an older Black man who has displayed on his home and American flag on the left of his door and what appears to be a photo of the flag on the right. (This was your first clue that it was AI. If Black people shared white people’s weird and obsessive affinity for the flag, it shouldn’t be so difficult to get us to join the party of perpetual jingoism.) The second image shows another Black canvasser dressed almost exactly like the first one in red, only with short sleeves and khakis instead of jeans, engaging with another Black man who is dressed almost exactly like the first one, only he’s younger and appears to have sprouted a third arm in case his other two hands get tired from enthusiastically voting red so much. (I maintain that the American flag photo is still the bigger AI tell, but whatever.)
Now, Ruffini is probably a little too dense to detect the irony of generating fake images of Black people in order to bolster the message that the GOP needs more real Black people—or the irony of the anti-DEI party looking to diversify its party by presenting the illusion of racial equity through the inclusion of more people of color—but the fine folks on X were more than happy to point it out to him.
Of course, Ruffini isn’t the only one playing around in Black people’s faces by using AI to be racist behind the veil of pseudo-Black inclusion. On Wednesday, NBC News reported that YouTube creators were exclusively targeting Black celebrities “using a mix of artificial intelligence-generated and manipulated media to create fake content” to flood YouTube with “salacious disinformation” attributed to those celebrities.
And you can bet there were plenty of GOPers who scoffed at Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) when he indicated to Black media outlets that America’s first-ever bill to regulate the use of AI will focus on how to safeguard Black voters from disinformation. (Fake Black lives matter too, Chuck. Do better.)
It’s worth pointing out that Black people and political experts have been warning y’all that AI images are going to be used this way by right-wingers who regard us as props, not people, and are willing to use misinformation in lieu of an earnest respect for Black people and concern for our needs, wants and values.
Do Black people fall for this white nonsense? No, for the most part, we don’t. But then, it isn’t clear if we are the target audience for these shenanigans, or if they’re meant to keep the overwhelmingly white GOP and GOP electorate as delusional about their racial makeup as possible.
Either way, it’s pretty pathetic.
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