Republican state Sen. Elbert Guillory of Louisiana said he plans on using the N-word in an upcoming television spot, the Advocate reported Tuesday. Guillory, one of two black candidates running for lieutenant governor, said by using the N-word in a campaign advertisement he was attempting to get the attention of black voters who typically vote for Democrats. The commercial has aired in New Orleans and is expected to go statewide.
In the commercial, Guillory uses the N-word in quoting President Lyndon B. Johnson. After signing the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Johnson, a Democrat, allegedly said he “gave ‘them’ a little something to keep the n------- voting for Democrats for the next 200 years,” according to Guillory. By using this quote in his commercial, Guillory said he is simply “quoting an artistic moment in history.”
He said he was attempting to point out that voting for Democrats in the past has not fared well for the black community. Guillory cited high unemployment, mortality, dropout rates, single-motherhood and imprisonment rates in the black community.
“It’s a sad commentary in politics today that a person who is black would even venture out to use the N-word when there are other people out there trying to bring the races together as one,” said Baton Rouge Mayor-President Kip Holden, Guillory's Democratic rival, the Advocate reported. “Here’s one of our own trying to justify a party and using what was allegedly said by Lyndon Johnson. He’s hiding behind that to call black people n------.”
— The Advocate (@theadvocatebr) August 17, 2015
Guillory fired back at Holden for criticizing his decision to use the racial slur in his campaign advertisement. In an open letter Guillory penned to Holden, the lawmaker said: "When I started this road, I promised that I would run a clean, respectful campaign,” the letter stated, the Times-Picayune reported. "Kip, I am a warrior!! I have experience as a kickboxer, dancer, mountain climber fencer. ... My playtime is spent pitting myself against challenges!! I urge you not to make yourself a challenge in my life."
People who complain about the N-word in his campaign ad are holding him to a double standard, said Guillory, who referred to President Barack Obama’s use of the N-word in a recent interview. "Racism, we are not cured of it. And it's not just a matter of it not being polite to say n----- in public," Obama said in an interview for the podcast, "WTF with Marc Maron," in June.
Guillory switched from being a Democrat to a Republican in 2013, and called Democrats the “party of Jim Crows” and Republicans the “party of freedom and progress” in a video explaining his decision to swap parties. He is not new to controversy. In 2014, Guillory made headlines when he released two campaign videos that featured direct attacks on Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu and pitted blacks against Latinos, the The Times-Picayune reported. Guillory said he produced the videos in an attempt to lure Louisiana black voters away from voting for Democrats.