Street artists use Ms. Marvel to fight intolerant bus advertisements and promote peace and love.
San Francisco has vigilantes running around at night fighting bigotry. While they are not fighting crime, they have taken a stand against bus ads that are aimed at depicting Muslims in a negative light. They have taken to painting over these ads by replacing their images with those of Ms. Marvel, a Muslim superhero, and adding a message of tolerance. These actions have garnered a positive reaction from the community of San Francisco, showing that they would rather embrace peace and love than the messages offered by the ads.
Muni Bus Ads
The anti-Muslim ads first appeared in New York City months ago, and were the subject of several campaigns against their content, including one by Muni themselves. They were purchased by a group called the American Freedom Defense Initiative. The ads show a supposed info graphic that draws serious comparisons between Muslims and Nazis, and claim to be a way to “stop the hate”. It then encourages the United States to stop sending any aid to predominantly Islamic countries and outlines a website where the reader should go to learn more “connections” between the groups. These ads upset Muslims as well as people who believe that the best way to quell problems is through peace and reaching out to one another.
Ms. Marvel Taking Action
The new iteration of Ms. Marvel was created for Marvel Comics by G. Willow Wilson, a Muslim woman, who wanted to re-imagine the superheroine as a means of empowering women and other disenfranchised people. This made her version of Ms. Marvel the perfect symbol for the individual street artists who are painting over these hate-filled ads and adding messages of hope such as “stamp out racism.” Wilson has showed approval of the use of her Ms. Marvel to respond to the advertisements.
Some amazing person has been painting over the anti-Muslim bus ads in SF with Ms. Marvel graffiti. Spread love. https://t.co/U8W2g01O2T
— G. Willow Wilson (@GWillowWilson) January 26, 2015
The Ms. Marvel contributions are being claimed by Street Cred – Advertising for the People, and their work has been appearing in many different places around the city. Their message of peace is not just limited to Muslims in America, but they are also using Ms. Marvel to combat hate-speech and promote love.
Ms. Marvel’s appearance represents a form of backlash against Islamophobia, which is reaching new heights following the recent attacks in France and the ongoing activities of ISIS. The prevalence of these ads shows that that there are always people who are willing to step up to show rationality in times of distress, and this time Ms. Marvel is leading the way.