“We wanted to have something that would poke at how irrational his anti-immigrant fear is”
Image via Twitter
Since it was installed last weekend, one billboard off Michigan’s I-94 has caused many laughs and just as many confused double takes. With an Arabic quote followed by Donald Trump’s name stamped at the end, it’s no wonder why this sign is eye-catching. To get an important message across about Islamophobia, the creators strategically placed the billboard in Dearborn, Michigan, where more Arab-Americans live per capita than any other city in the United States, Upworthy reports.
"Donald Trump can’t read this, but he is still scared of it." This Arabic billboard in Dearborn, MI, mocks The Don… https://t.co/ACztx97JYh— AJ+ (@AJ+)1476872937.0
For Arabic speakers who can read the sign and for English speakers looking to decode it, the white lettering translates as: “Donald Trump can't read this, but he's scared of it.” Created by the cocreator of Cards Against Humanity and founder of The Nuisance Committee, Max Temkin, the billboard aims to expose the countless ignorant and unfounded comments Trump has made about Muslims and Arab-Americans. On the committee’s website, trumpisscared.org, you can find all the insanely bigoted statements he’s made from the early days of his presidential campaign to the present.
Kitty Kurth, a spokesperson for the Nuisance Committee, told Upworthy, “We knew that Trump's rhetoric is based on fear not on reality, and we wanted to have something that would poke at how irrational his anti-immigrant fear is.” Irrational is right. The most horrifying incidence happened this past December when Trump stated in a press release that legislators should initiate “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on.” He’s been equally offensive toward Syrian refugees, comparing them to poisoned Skittles. This analogy—beyond being dehumanizing—is an insanely exaggerated portrayal of the risk refugees pose for Americans. According to the State Department, fewer than 20 of the 785,000 refugees who have immigrated to the U.S. since 2001 have faced terrorism charges.
Hopefully this billboard and other efforts like it help undecided voters recognize the hatred behind Trump’s comments and mobilize against him. On this point Kurth said,
“Throughout our history as a nation, we have been built into a strong nation by the contribution of immigrants, but at the same time, many of our people have had fear of the other and fear of the unknown.”
By unchaining ourselves from the groundless fears Trump has a knack for perpetuating, perhaps we can continue to steer our country in the direction of inclusivity—and in turn, strength.