Target: Terry Peterson, Chairman of Chicago Transit Authority
Goal: To remove misleading and xenophobic advertisements from public transportation
Advertisements placed on public transpiration have a very large and broad audience. While most advertisements are harmless, some advertisements can promote misleading messages. Currently, Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) is displaying advertisements paid for and endorsed by the American Freedom Defense Initiative. These advertisements equate Jihad and those who believe in it with savagery.
These advertisements are extremely xenophobic and offensive to Muslim Americans. The message being advertised reads, “In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support the Copts. Defeat Jihad.” This message is misleading and heavily stereotypes Muslim Americans; it makes it seem that all Muslim Americans are violent savages. For many Muslim Americans, Jihad is a spiritual and personal journey to become a better individual.
Contrary to the message conveyed by the American Freedom Defense Initiative, not all Muslim Americans who believe in Jihad are savage beasts; many of these Muslim Americans are peace-loving citizens. An individual’s personal beliefs should not segregate them from the rest of society. Everyone is entitled to their own beliefs and should not be condemned or face discrimination because what they believe in does not confine to society’s “norms.”
The information being advertised by the American Freedom Defense Initiative and CTA helps spur ignorance and hate. The message being conveyed in the advertisement is nothing short of hate speech or propaganda against Muslim Americans. If not properly addressed, the advertisement can contribute to acts of violence against innocent individuals.
Although CTA is not directly promoting the xenophobic message in the advertisement, they are still indirectly promoting it by allowing it to be placed on their vehicles of public transportation. By agreeing to have the advertisement on vehicles of public transportation, CTA is spreading the idea of Muslim “savagery” to everyone who uses and sees public transportation. This message of ignorance and hate is gaining traction through its exposure to thousands of individuals on a daily basis.
Help stop the spread of xenophobia, racial intolerance, and cultural ignorance. Sign the petition below to urge Chicago Transit Authority to remove these misleading advertisements from their vehicles of public transportation.
Dear Mr. Peterson,
Chicago Transit Authority has recently allowed the use of advertisements that display a racially misleading message on its vehicles of public transportation. This message is extremely offensive and insulting to the Muslim American community. By allowing this message to be placed on your vehicles, you are indirectly helping spread hate and ignorance this message conveys. You are giving this message publicity and exposing thousands of individuals to it on a daily basis.
I am urging you to remove this advertisement from your vehicles of public transportation. While the advertisement is legally protected by the First Amendment, there are surely other measures you can take to denounce the misleading message that is being conveyed. You can add a disclaimer to the advertisement stating that you are against the statement being made against Muslim Americans. If you cannot legally remove the advertisements, please take the action to at least enlighten those who view the advertisement.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: chicagotribune.com