Saturday, February 26, 2011

Free speech denied when billboard offends

An article in the February 23 Bellingham Herald announced that a black New York City politician objected to an anti-abortion billboard; and then on Friday, February 25, an article announced that the billboard would be taken down.

The ad allegedly offended people because it said:
"The most dangerous place for an African-American is in the womb."  Click here to see an image of the billboard.
It's too bad the offense was directed at the wrong target.  
This was definitely a case of blaming the messenger, and ignoring the message.

And it raises the question:  Can you speak out about abortion and expect a fair hearing in the marketplace of ideas?
Dr. Alveda King, niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, called the billboard removal "an outrageous act of censorship."  Here's more of what she had to say, from the CNS News website:
“The message of this billboard is totally accurate,” King said in a statement issued by Priests for Life where she is the director of African-American Outreach. “The most dangerous place for an African-American is in the womb!”  
She added: “And it (the billboard) should provoke outrage in the African-American community—not because it is racist, but because of the truth it reveals; the truth that is being kept from the African-American community.”

We'll talk more about the truth that the billboard reveals in the next post, and give you some statistics to back it up.

In the meantime, think about this:  When the media downplays or ignores a truth, how can you make your voice heard, as a savvy citizen?  I have some ideas, but I'd like to hear yours, too.

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