US Senate Candidate Charles Booker Wears Noose In New Campaign Ad

Photo: Getty Images

US Senate Candidate Charles Booker illustrated Kentucky's history of lynching and racism by wearing a noose around his neck in a new campaign ad.

In a video titled, "Pain of our Past," Booker narrates the state's past use of lynching to terrorize African Americans and speaks directly to current US Senator Rand Paul's record on civil rights measures, including an anti-lynching bill.

"The pain of our past persists to this day," Booker says in the clip, which describes lynching as a "tool of terror" that "killed hopes for freedom."

"It was used to kill my ancestors," Booker said, appearing with the rope around his neck. Booker made history this primary election, becoming the first Black Kentuckian to win the Democratic nomination as he gears up to challenge Paul in November's midterm election.

"My opponent? The very person who compared expanded healthcare to slavery," Booker says in the ad while showing Paul's face. "The person who said he would've opposed the Civil Rights Act. The person who single-handedly blocked an anti-lynching act from being federal law."

That anti-lynching bill finally became law in 2022 — after more than 100 years of previous attempts.

"The choice couldn't be clearer," the Senate hopeful says. "Do we move forward together or do we let politicians like Rand Paul forever hold us back?" Booker asks, grabbing the noose.

At the end of the video, Booker declares that voters "will choose healing" in November. "We will choose Kentucky," he adds, removing the noose from around his neck.

If elected, Booker would be just the 12th Black Senator elected to the chamber in American history.

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