Why not try real solutions?
Spokane could just decide to love its community more. Everyone wants less crime, but leaning on police to do all the work just creates more prisoners. We need to actually invest in our community; in each other.
Juneteenth (Monday, June 19th) SCAR will be holding space for community. Follow us on Facebook for more details.
Let’s cut through the narrative a bit. LAMAR is a racist company.
When asked about why they chose to display the John Birch anti-mask billboards, which posited an unsourced opinion with no citations, that is a threat to public health, and in direct conflict with the state-mandated mask orders they said, “it was an issue of free speech.”
But when SCAR is trying to bring awareness to policing issues in our community which are a direct threat to public health, with well sourced information they said, “there were a couple that we weren’t totally sure could be backed up by facts.” Really? Cause we provided sources. Legit sources.
NOTE: The only billboard they approved stated “Black Spokane Residents are 5 Times More Likely to Be Arrested”. That’s the only fact they are willing to believe?
Notice the difference there? Let’s be crystal clear: John Birch gets “freedom of speech”, but a POC ran group whose billboards presented verifiable and directly sourced facts is held to a different standard and then sill not believed? Here’s the company policy they quoted to us:
#6. Copy Acceptance: Lamar reserves the right to determine if copy and and design are in good taste and within moral standards of the individual communities in which it is to be displayed. Lamar reserves the right to reject or remove any copy either before or after installation, including immediate termination of this contract.
We ask you, how can the fact that “Spokane has the 5th deadliest police force in the nation” not represent the exact moral standards of our community, when that is precisely what our community is allowing to happen?
Well, you can’t take one incident and make assumptions. Let’s see what else we can find…
Turns out LAMAR has a history of turning down Black Lives Matter billboards and they give away free space for “Blue Lives Matter” billboards. This behavior is very problematic.
LAMAR owns a vast majority of America’s outdoor advertising and by their own words understand that their work has the potential to silence voices. They are choosing to advocate aggressively for systems that perpetuate racial disparities in our country and we’re embarrassed to have them operate in this way in our community.