The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Tuesday October 4th

Removing bus ads hurts the discourse

TO THE EDITOR:

I was unsettled to read in “Bus ad policy scrutinized at Chapel Hill Town Council forum” that the Town Council might ban all advertising on buses due to some residents taking offense to the ad opposing U.S. military aid to Israel.

This is an affront not only to First Amendment freedom of speech rights, as several quotes in the article suggested, but also to the notion of social justice within our community.

Banning advertising on buses due to this controversy would send a clear message to all types of minority groups in our community whose opinions differ from those of the majority: Your views are neither welcome nor valid, and they will be suppressed.

This is discrimination, just as closing the entire Woolworth’s lunch counter in Greensboro during 1960 conveyed discrimination toward the black citizens who had sat amongst their white counterparts and requested service.

Regardless of our own personal views about U.S. military aid to Israel, we as Chapel Hill residents should feel scandalized by the notion that our Town Council might contribute to discrimination against minority groups in our own community.

I hope that our councilmen and councilwomen will take a stand for freedom of speech and social justice by advocating for all varieties of advertising on buses.

Laura Jasmine
Graduate student
School of Social Work

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