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Taking advantage of race for personal gain is a time honored tradition in the United States. Sometimes it's nefarious like the slavery thing or the use of Asian immigrants in building the railroad. Occasionally it's purely political like the recent anti-immigrant law in Arizona. Sometimes it just weird.

In the weird category, we have the Cubs' failed Fukudome experiment which also created the Fukudome unlicensed t-shirt controversy. If you've already forgotten, let me refresh your memory: I think we can all agree that the t-shirt was tasteless but somebody made a boat-load of money off of it before it got shut down.

More recently we have Congressman Dan Adler who is running in California. I'm not sure if his recent ad is racist, ridiculous or possibly just undefinable. Take a look and decide for yourself:

Does it make it better that he's a Jew married to a Korean? I think I'm just really confused. Does it help his campaign? Well, it is California so your guess is as good as mine.

Ultimately the Fukudome t-shirt got yanked off the market and definitely received much more negative than positive press. Adler seems to be faring about as well and with this ad, he may have just cemented his position as also-ran: 

Hm, maybe using race for personal gain isn't such a good plan after all. Using Patty Duke might fall in that same category, too. -A


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