‘A shady tactic’: Ad appears to darken the skin of Atlanta mayoral candidate

There are accusations a new ad in the race for Atlanta mayor is racist.

The ad darkens the skin of Atlanta mayoral candidate Andre Dickens.

It’s a move historically used to make African Americans look dangerous.

Many people say this tactic is used to portray the candidate in a negative light by adding dark shadows around his face. But fellow candidate Felicia Moore told Channel 2′s Dave Huddleston she had nothing to do with the ad and is not responsible for it.

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“When I saw it, I couldn’t believe it,” former state senator Vincent Fort said.

The political ad is running on social media and TVs across the metro area. It criticizes Atlanta mayoral candidate Andre Dickens’ voting record, but at the same time, appears to darken his skin.

Fort, who supports Dickens, said this tactic was used in ads to make Blacks appear menacing or dangerous.

“When I saw it, I said, ‘no, this city is better than that’,” Fort said

Huddleston talked with Dickens about the ad before he and Ambassador Andrew Young went inside to vote in the run-off election.

“I can’t believe someone would go back to the ugly past. Those are historical things where people would darken the skin of African Americans to make them somehow more frightening, or something like that. That’s a shady tactic,” Dickens said.


During the Atlanta Press Club’s mayoral debate Tuesday, Moore said she didn’t know anything about the ad, but if it was in poor taste, she would denounce it.

Huddleston met Moore as she greeted supporters in northeast Atlanta. She told him a political action group called Safer Atlanta  made the ad, and she has nothing to do with it.

“I don’t think having darker black skin is what I saw, but if they saw that, they need to talk with Safer Atlanta,” Moore said. “I cannot as a candidate talk with or coordinate in anyway with a PAC.”

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Channel 2 is still working to find out who’s responsible for the ad.

These types of ads have been used before. In January, during the  U.S. Senate race, a political group created an ad that distorted Sen. Jon Ossoff’s face to make the Jewish-American look like a negative stereotype.