Muni "Savages" "Jihad" Etc. Battling Mideast Bus Ads Fund Pending Study
|Will Muni finally get to keep some damn ad money?|
The latest salvo has been fired by a group called the American Muslims for Palestine; featuring a silhouette of an Israeli soldier leveling a machine gun at a child, it urges "End Apartheid Now!"
This follows a tit-for-tat of warring bus ads. A stroll down memory lane of recent vitriolic public advertising on Muni includes placements that compared Palestinians to savages; ads quoting the goals of Muslim terrorists subtitled "That's his Jihad. What's yours?"; and charming bits highlighting the treatment of LGBT people under Sharia law. There were also touchy-feely, positive ads placed by the Council for American-Islamic Relations prior to the current campaign declaring Israeli Apartheid.
The First Amendment doesn't just protect popular speech, and Muni was duty-bound to accept these ads. In fact, the first three ad campaigns noted above offered the rare win-win-win for all involved: City politicos enjoyed the risk-free opportunity to righteously decry "hate speech"; the group placing the ads basked in the publicity it sought to obtain; and the city's Human Rights Commission got all the money to fund a study on the effects of Islamophobia.
Muni, of course, was left holding the bag. But that's Muni's lot in life. SF Weekly queried the Human Rights Commission about how that study is doing.
See Also: "Islamophobic" Muni Ads Return
The answer: It's doing.
Executive Director Theresa Sparks noted that somewhere between $12,000 and $15,000 has come her way via three or four campaigns decried as anti-Muslim. Thus far, a "working group" has been formed -- naturally.
Populated by members of the District Attorney's office, the Health Department, and Muslim community groups, it has drawn up the makings of a study analyzing "the emotional, physical, and mental health impacts of sustained Islamophobia," says Sparks.
Muni, incidentally, has no plans to bequeath the HRC with the $5,030 from the current crop of Israeli apartheid ads. "What we've told people is if they are offended by ads, we believe that money should go to some type of study," says Sparks.
Perhaps that'll happen. But a study of how effective these ads are at bringing about well-being in the Mideast or accomplishing anything beneficial whatsoever might be a more satisfying undertaking.