Watch: GOP nominee for governor awkwardly dodges questions about his shockingly racist ads


Ed Gillespie, super-lobbyist and the GOP establishment's candidate for governor in Virginia, refuses to answer questions about Donald Trump's endorsement and the effect of racist ads on Latino children.

Ed Gillespie, Republican candidate for governor in Virginia, is running a campaign he hopes will succeed at least in part by appealing to racist fears.

As the campaign enters the home stretch, he’s unleashed a volley of dishonest ads that intentionally conflate the miniscule population of MS-13 gang members with the larger community of undocumented Latino immigrants.

Gillespie’s race-baiting ads almost certainly caught Donald Trump’s eye late last week. Minutes after Gillespie’s ad aired on Fox News during "Hannity," Trump posted  a tweet parroting the ad's narrative.

Unfortunately, what is lost in all the controversy over hateful and racist political ads is the very real effect it has on the Latino population. Most Americans will never know how it feels to have a candidate for governor — as well as that candidate's party as a whole, not to mention the president of the United States – suggest that your entire culture and identity is a threat to the rest of your country.

And, as usual, the most innocent and defenseless members of the minority community are victimized. Latino children in Virginia and across America suffer when demagogues like Gillespie and Trump scapegoat and demonize their culture:

Silvia Salguero wasn’t surprised when her 13-year-old son told her that a day after Donald Trump won the election, another student shook his hand and said, “You’re going back to Mexico.”

“I got upset even though I knew it was going to happen,” Salguero told BuzzFeed News.

Salguero, a Mexican immigrant who lives in Park City, Utah, offered to talk to someone at the school about the incident. Her son told her not to go because there’s a police officer at the school and he didn’t want her to be deported.

“I burst into tears,” Salguero said. “I really couldn’t stop crying and as tears were falling down my face I told him that everything will be all right.”

I asked Gillespie if he had any regard at all for the Latino children he was hurting with his racist ad campaign. Gillespie, as usual when taking questions from this reporter, refused to answer:

Gillespie may not want to address questions about his overtly racist campaign, but that won't make them disappear — especially as long as he keeps pushing his bigotry-driven message on the nation.