Darius Foster is a conservative Republican running for a seat in the Alabama House of Representatives in the November 2014 elections. He is a small business owner, a native of Birmingham and he is black man who will not be “put in a box” of stereotypes. In fact, Foster just released a campaign advertisement that serves very well to gracefully smack down racebaiters and challenges them to try to define him based on the color of his skin.
In the video, Foster puts racial stereotypes in refreshing perspective as he lets viewers learn just a little bit about who he is as a person, not just what he stands for as a political candidate. What makes the video powerful is that rather than having Foster speak directly to the camera, a series of ordinary people of all races and both genders provide casual but telling insight into some of the life experiences that have served to form Foster’s character. Viewers learn that he lived without heat as a child, that he “thinks” to music by Frank Sinatra and is a fan of New Orleans hip hop recording artist Lil’ Wayne.
Foster also makes some very powerful statements such as, “I take it personally when people mistake poor for lazy.” He references his religious beliefs by sharing,
My favorite book of the Bible is Ecclesiastes. It’s the only book I’ve read where God gave a man everything, he lost it and lived to tell about it.
These brief but telling statements give more insight into the man who Foster is than a straight up political ad would have. In fact, the ad is generating a groundswell of interest with comments like “Awesome I love it… As a part black conservative myself, I hope more and more blacks leave the reservation” and even this interesting comment, “Part of me hopes he loses because I look at that ad and his values and feel he is wasted at the state level. Run this man on a federal ballot.”
There are of course those on the left who perhaps, out of a sense of feeling threatened have already begun to attack Foster for his ad. Comments such as this one, “Racist Tea Bagger!” found posted under Mediate’s coverage of the video, are not even shocking as they are so commonly fired off by the vitriolic and oh so very tolerant left.
There was an insightful comment on the same page as the liberal insult, which stated, “I am surprised he is running as a Republican, but I hope to see him run as an individual to bring change to the GOP.” This comment seems to indicate that the author understands not only the point of the ad, but also the concerns many conservatives have about the state of the Republican Party.
Foster is running for Alabama House Representative in District 56, which includes the areas of Lake Cyrus, Oxmoor Valley, Ross Bridge, Shannon and Bessemern. The district has historically been largely Democratic but recent redistricting may provide a Republican candidate with an opportunity to win the election.
Foster is running on a platform of job growth, parental involvement in education, reducing prison sentences for first time non-violent offenders to community service and his full support of small business. On his campaign website he states that he is running for office because he wants to bring “fresh ideas to the district.” He further states that the district has “more races and classes” represented and that he will “build bridges, not barriers.”
Fosters campaign ad that gracefully serves to peremptorily smack down racebaiters ready to jump on the “Uncle Tom” slander bandwagon is refreshing. The video has already garnered much interest and it has been praised for challenging stereotypes and its central message suggesting that people look outside the box rather than at skin color.
Opinion by Alana Marie Burke