I follow this batshiat-crazy tumblr called “Republican National Committee Research.” I have an interest in cities, architecture, and infrastructure and can’t help but notice how hilarioterrible this ad is. I should say first that, in my observations, RNC Research:
- Does not actually produce research. Nor do they produce information about the Republican party, and
- They primarily exist to create high-school level Obama attack ads.
This particular ad caught my eye. It shows Obama laughing, a quote “you didn’t build that” above him, and the 1929 Empire State Building in the background.
Everyone can agree, Obama did not build the Empire State Building - foreign trained architects designed it and (mostly) illegal immigrants built it. So, what’s the deal with this ad?
- Built in Manhattan, New York in 1929 the Empire State Building was co-designed with a Canadian and a New Yorker who studied in France
- Contracted to a Chicago construction firm, Starrett Brothers & Eken, Inc. (now NYC based)
- And most workers were undocumented illegal immigrants
- Interestingly, this included non-U.S. citizen Mohawk Indian ironworkers. The Mohawks were openly and legally discriminated against, were actively denied U.S. citizenship by the 71st Republican run Congress and Senate, were screwed over many times as Republican run congress and senate violated Indian treaties and federal acts (the UN scolded the US for continued violations as recently as 2006, also under a Republican administration), and were continuously denied human rights, which were collectively known back then as ‘freedom, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.’
Great “research” guys…
Update: A few have pointed out that the quote, “you didn’t build that” is in reference to a speech Obama gave this week at Historic Fire Station No. 1, in Roanoke Virginia. He basically stated that no business could exist with out the help of family, friends, government, and other community support. The right scraped the above quote, called it a gaff, and turned it into a meme. Ironically, the subject matter used in the memes only prove Obama’s point - that nothing gets built without other people (sometimes legitimately, other times shadily) - as I showed above.
Boom. Great post. And I love the irony. My republican friends on Facebook are celebrating this “gaff” as well — one of them actually linked to the full context of the quote, but I don’t think any of them had actually read it.