Bus Ads:  Of Savages and Idiots

Bus Ads:  Of Savages and Idiots

by Sheila Musaji

We have run a series of articles discussing a number of ads being produced and posted by Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer’s hate groups AFDI/SIOA/Atlas Shrugs/Jihad Watch.  The ad currently running on buses in San Francisco says, “In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel. Defeat jihad.”

As Garibaldi of Loonwatch noted

...  Geller claims that her ads are not about hate, and that the “savages” she is talking about are “suicide bombers,”

Because any targeting of innocent civilians is savagery. Mothers and children on a bus are targeted, and that is savagery. Kidnapping and murdering is savagery. The U.S. does not conduct war that way, and neither does Israel [this is a lie, which we have proven over and over—Ed.]. Now, there is sometimes the accidental death of civilians, which is far different than the targeting of innocent civilians.

The truth is Geller isn’t referring only to suicide bombers. She is putting forward a type of double-speak. Geller is reaffirming Ayn Rand’s racist position on Israel-Palestine, this is why the language is so similar between the two.

“If you mean whose side should we be on: Israel or the Arabs? I would certainly say Israel because it’s the advanced, technological, civilized country amidst a group of almost totally primitive savages“–Ayn Rand (1979, The Donahue Show)

It would seem that Geller’s message is “misunderstood” as hateful by an awful lot of people.  The Business Insider thought the term “savages” referred to Palestinians generally. Adam Chandler in the Jewish Tablet thought the ad could be read as anti-Israel.  The San Francisco Jewish Community Center thought the ad was anti-Muslim.  Ron Meier, the ADL NY Regional Director thought the ad was highly offensive and inflammatory, saying “We support the court’s conclusion that the ad is a form of protected speech under the First Amendment, yet we still strongly object to both the message and the messenger.  We believe these ads are highly offensive and inflammatory. Pro-Israel doesn’t mean anti-Muslim. It is possible to support Israel without engaging in bigoted anti-Muslim and anti-Arab stereotypes.”  Tfhe Huffington Post thought the ad was anti-Islam.  Alex Kane thought the ad was offensive and anti-Muslim. The San Francisco MTA who ran the ads thought the ad belittles, demeans, and disparages others.  Sydney Levy, Director of Advocacy for Jewish Voice for Peace thought the ad was very offensive.  Tim Redmond of the of the San Francisco Bay Guardian thought the ad was inexcusably offensive. 

Geller has not only attempted to misrepresent her ads meaning, but also misrepresented the decision of a NY judge as “defending” her ad.  That is not true, the judge said only that the ad was protected by free speech. 

Caitlin Esch reports that The SF MTA has said that it will run the ad, but condemns the content, and they will donate the money they receive from AFDI/SIOA to a public education campaign by the San Francisco Human Rights Commission, and they will post a message next to each ad that Muni does not agree with the ad.  They also said that they will review their ad policy going forward. 

I was surprised that the amount that the MTA received for running these ads was only $3,600.  This small sum and a lack of conscience is all that was required to fuel the fires of hatred.

Sadly, Geller and Spencer’s insistence on pushing the limits of freedom of speech by such extreme stunts, may in the end lead to a limiting of freedom of speech for everyone. 

Since only Geller and her supporters find this ad to be reasonable, Ibn Percy has corrected this hateful ad: 

Response to Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer’s MTA hateful advertisement


AFDI/SIOA Bus Ads Inspired by Ayn Rand’s Racist Views of Arabs and Muslims? by Garibaldi of Loonwatch http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/afdi-sioa-bus-ads-inspired-by-ayn-rands-racist-views-of-arabs-and-muslims/0019295
17,000+ “Islamic terrorist” attacks exist only in fevered Islamophobic brains, Sheila Musaji http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/17000_islamic_terrorist_attacks_exist_in_fevered_islamophobic_brains
A Tale of Three Bigoted Ads, Sheila Musaji http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/billboards
Pamela Geller:  A Tale of Two Bus Ads, Sheila Musaji http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/bus-ads

Sign the Change.org petition against this ad http://www.change.org/petitions/commissioner-join-us-in-condemning-ads-that-are-hate-speech-and-promote-violence#