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Indiana pastors condemn Rokita ad as racially charged

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FORT WAYNE, Ind. — Two Fort Wayne church leaders are condemning a campaign ad by Republican Indiana Senate candidate Todd Rokita for using what they say is racially charged imagery.

The Fort Wayne Journal Gazette reports Rev. Bill McGill, of Imani Baptist Temple, and Rev. John Gardner, of Plymouth Congregational Church of Fort Wayne, made the remarks at a news conference Friday.

Gardner said the ad goes “too far” and needs to be “called out.”

The TV ad criticizes “liberal elites.” It includes clips of a kneeling Colin Kaepernick, the NFL quarterback who ignited controversy by refusing to stand for the national anthem. It also shows street protests as a narrator says, “they riot in our streets and attack our police” and “it must stop.”

Rokita spokesman Nathan Brand called charges of racism absurd and suggested the criticisms amounted to “political correctness run amok.”