Oh SNAP!: Protesters Take On Anti-Choice Billboards in Chicago

By Sexual Correspondent Andrea (AJ) Plaid

Remember this?

Toni Bond Leonard, President/CEO of Black Women’s Reproductive Justice BWRJ), said this about it (from RH Reality Check):

“The groups behind these heinous attacks upon Black women care nothing about Black children or the Black community. These are some of the same groups who fought against healthcare reform and oppose government safety net programs that would directly benefit Black women, our families and our communities.”

“This billboard and the twenty-nine others they plan to erect are offensive to Black women and the Black community, overall. We saw them cowardly placing the billboards in the dark late last night. These billboards are painting an abhorrent image of Black women as perpetrators of a plan to eradicate the future Black race.”

“That they would place these billboards in the Black community with such a despicable lie is reprehensible. It also must not go unnoted that they placed the billboards on the side of a building facing a vacant lot filled with garbage and broken glass. This only further shows their disrespect for Black women and the Black community that all they could think to do was put up billboards telling us Black women are preventing future leaders from being born. What about highlighting the need for economic resources to remove garbage-filled lots in urban areas and creating safe communities.”

And, according to BWRJ, Life Always, the anti-choice group who placed these billboards around Chicago’s South Side,  is backed up by the same funders who are down with Sarah Palin. o_O

Akiba Solomon, in her analysis of the Chicago anti-choice ads, writes on how artist Stacey Muhammed re-imagines them:

(The small print says: “Police terrorism, incarceration, medical apartheid, miseducation, poverty, racial profiling.)

As well as this:

(The copy: “The most dangerous place for an African American is in a world that criminalizes its mothers.”)

Then, thanks to a tip from reproductive-justice advocate extraordinaire Aimee Thorne-Thomsen, we heard that Chicago Tribune reports on a group–who wanted to remain anonymous beyond identifying as “social workers and community members”–who felt like this about those ads:

This sign says, “In 21 minutes this sign should be gone.” Another sign from the protesters said, “Abort Racism.” Chicago Tribune’s Megan Twohey writes that one blew away.  Unfortunately.

Photo/image credits:  Life Always; Stacey Muhammed/Colorlines; Heather Charles/Chicago Tribune

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  • Anonymous

    My initial reaction is rage, but I will pull on the reins and refocus so I sound 1/2 way rational.

    I believe that these billboards are endemic to the collective thought of the bullying public. When a disenfranchised group of people in society who are just beginning to realize the dignity that belongs to them are faced with this kind of constant bullying by another group, there is something a foot my dear Watson!

    What we have to be is discerning, look beyond the issues and the bullying to the underlying message being sent to cause us to behave a certain way. Then and only then will we be able to counter these messages with something meaningful and powerful. Something that will change the course of history.

    Just like a bully is motivated by ideas of inferiority, which we now all know to be true, we have to remove the cover to see where the root of their issues are to tackle them properly.

  • ch555x

    This could apply to just about any social ill currently plaguing the country (education, domestic abuse, nutrition, etc.).