In an attempt to protest the Pennsylvania state House's recent designation of 2012 as "The Year of the Bible" (which is admittedly messed up), two atheist groups went the fight-douche-with-douche route last week and erected a slavery-themed billboard in "one of the Harrisburg's most racially diverse neighborhoods." Ostensibly meant to highlight the hypocrisy of the "Year of the Bible," the billboard instead pissed people off because it's racist.
Yeah, I don't see how you guys failed to realize this was racist.
Luckily, someone tore the billboard down after just one day, but that doesn't erase its hateful, completely ineffective message. Instead of making the Bible look bad (the alleged intention), the image served as a reminder to the Harrisburgians of the horrors of slavery and the racism that still exists in this country. Said Aaron Selvey, a Harrisburg resident, "That image, that was my ancestors. That represents their struggle and all the pain they went through. I don't think a lot of people understood how offensive that is. Schoolchildren will just see that black face and the words. They don't understand the context."
As if posting a massive "slaves obey your masters" billboard wasn't enough, the douchebaggery continues in the form of Ernest Perce V:
Ernest Perce V, the Pennsylvania state director of American Atheists, said he won't press charges against whoever damaged the billboard he designed, and said he, too, is a victim after receiving death threats.
"We hope people can see just a little bit of discrimination we get," said Perce, who offended local Muslims last year when he dressed as a "Zombie Muhammad" in a Halloween parade.
Perce and the atheist sponsors of the billboard said they are dismayed that people were offended by the image instead of what he called injustices in the Bible and legislators naming 2012 "The Year of the Bible."
Perce said he will proceed with a 25-billboard statewide campaign against the Bible and the legislation.
Did you catch that? Not only does Perce, the designer of this billboard, plan on making 25 more, he wants people to see him as the victim of discrimination here—not the members of the community he defiled with a huge slavery poster. Are we supposed to be thankful that he's "not pressing charges"? And all this after he just wrapped up a lawsuit that involved him dressing up as a "Zombie Muhammad" and offending the Muslim community with his douchebaggery. And HE was the plaintiff! You can't make this stuff up, folks.
The billboard has been replaced with an ad for the Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra, but something tells me we haven't seen the last of Ernest Perce V. Next Halloween is only seven months away, after all.