Thursday, August 01, 2013

There are billboards all over my neighborhood that say:



My neighborhood. Where most of the people of color live, if they live in the city; Somalis, Ethiopians, Mexicans, African Americans, First Nations, Asians.

I was heartened by one billboard that was covered with graffiti.

A nation where we fear one another.

Tonight I stood behind a mom in African dress with a babe tied on behind her. Her kiddo was leaning this way and that. Finally she looked up at me and smiled. Her mom kept patting her on her butt while they waited. I saw a man waiting for a bus today. He held a notebook on his lap and he fidgeted a bit. He was bearded and dark skinned. Something in me broke open watching him. I saw him as a baby, a child, a teenager, a man, a father, a son, a brother, a member of a family somewhere. Sitting and waiting for a bus while the streets are lined with terrorist billboards.



9 comments:

Sabine said...

So, looking at these posters, are you to assume that the smiling children (!) on it have anything to do with terrorism or are they supposed to be the watchdogs? I find the combination of images of smiling multiracial children, stacks of money, flag and the word terrorism really offensive. Do you have an ad watchdog organisation? I believe that in the UK the government has been driving mobile billboards with slogans such as "Go home you are not welcome here" around "sensitive" neighbourhoods and there have been so many complaints from people that this is now being referred to the Advertising Standards Agency.
Don't let this go on. Please. We must not allow hate and xenophobia grow and grow. Nowhere on this planet.

Birdie said...

I am stunned. I grew up with making sure kids did not chew gum in class. Terrorism signs? My god. What has the world come to?

Radish King said...

the US has to create constant fear in us in order to control us. when I was a kid it was air raid sirens in Spokane and first we had to run home for at least two years we had to run home I believe this was for if Hanford exploded and dumped nuclear waste on us the next round of air raid sirens were during the cold war and we had to drop under our desks and cover our heads. fat lot of good either of these exercises would have done and it turns out Hanford is leaking all over hell and back anyway. Fear controls. The government knows it. The police know it. Bad parents know it. Criminals know it. In the meantime I want to drive to The Ginger Bell Bakery aka Borracchini's Bakery Mediterranean Market and order myself one of those scrumptious cakes for my birthday since I had no birthday cake just birthday shrink (but a delicious) and according to the Beckian Calendar yesterday was the first day of Autumn and the Calendar has complied. I love you so much.

Radish King said...

delicious dinner I meant. yikes.

beth coyote said...

Sabine-Our lefty State Senator, Mike Mc Dermott, got bus ads removed--The Face of Terrorism--all men of color. But these billboards are still there and you're right, they are horrible in so many ways. These are my neighbors, my friends.

beth coyote said...

Birdie-right??

beth coyote said...

Dear R-I love you so much too. XXXXX

Mel said...

Oh, this got to me. Who the hell came up with that brilliant ad campaign? Ugh.

I saw this yesterday, and I'm still haunted by the eyes of these children, and it made me think a lot about the insanity in our world and the children who have to live in it.

http://www.theatlantic.com/infocus/2013/08/afghanistans-children-of-war/100565/

T. Clear said...

The first time I saw this (in the light rail), I thought that the pictures of the children were pictures of the so-called terrorists. Appalling! Offensive! Wanted to deface it with a black sharpie.