Minstrel show: Ariz. Democrat releases photo of himself with darkened, more Hispanic face

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A Democratic candidate for Arizona governor released a photograph of himself with his face digitally darkened so that he would look more Hispanic.

The candidate, Phoenix businessman Fred DuVal said he wanted show Republicans he is a “good sport,” reports the Arizona Daily Independent.

DuVal’s stunt was a response to GOP chair Robert Graham, who had previously branded DuVal as “the most uninteresting man in the world.” This phraseology reverses the moniker of the pitchman for Dos Equis beer, who is, of course, The Most Interesting Man in the World.

In the Dos Equis commercials, the famous beer spokesman is played by a rough-hewn, bearded character actor named Jonathan Goldsmith. He wears impeccable clothes and speaks in a deep, cultured Latino voice. He ends each ad with the tag line, “Stay thirsty, my friends.”

In DuVal’s digitally altered photograph, the lily-white candidate does his best to look to like an imaginary Latino. He has a beard and is wearing a smoking jacket. His skin is sort of orange-brown. There’s a half-smoked cigar, an empty glass and a big candle in the foreground.

Along with the photo, DuVal’s response included a case of Dos Equis and a thank-you card that read “Stay Desperate My Friends,” according to a blog called Arizona Eagletarian. The sender was labeled as “The Most Electable Man in Arizona.”

DuVal sent the Photoshopped image to Graham and Chad Heyward, the executive director of the Arizona GOP.

Both sides spun the modern-day minstrel show as a huge win for their respective sides.

The Yellow Sheet Report, “Arizona’s first and best political tip sheet,” basically judged the episode to be a win for the Democrat.

“DuVal had some fun with the Arizona Republican Party and Graham today, responding to the party’s decree that he is the ‘most uninteresting man in the world’ with some cerveza-based humor of his own,” the subscription-based website explained.

In a press release, DuVal said he was “flattered” that the Republicans targeted him even before he has even wrapped up his party’s nomination.

A spokeswoman for the DuVal campaign, Leslie Sonnenklar, announced that the face-darkening stunt had netted DuVal $11,000 in donations.

Arizona Republicans disagreed.

“Painful attempts at humor, especially with racial overtones, usually backfire on candidates,” an Arizona GOP representative said.

“This is the kind of thing you might think was funny but would never do…unless you started drinking too many Dos Equis,” quipped a Republican who asked not to be identified.

Local Hispanic conservatives also had much to tell the Daily Independent.

“As a Latino, I was not offended at all by the allusion to the Dos Equis commercial guy,” Jose Borrajero, a member of the Arizona Latino Republican Association, said “It was a very stupid prank by someone who wants to be taken seriously as a gubernatorial candidate. But one must admit: it was amusing. What is not funny is that the Democrat party has become the party of economic oppression of Latinos and other ‘minorities.'”

Rudy Pena, a Catholic and a self-described Reagan conservative, said the move “reeks of a move by an insignificant org, heavily under the influence of both the Left and the consumption of ‘Tequila.'”

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