Sometimes social media is used to spread hate and racism but many times it is used for something incredible, something that restores your faith in humanity just a bit. Arsalan Iftikhar posted this picture of a defaced GAP ad to his Twitter account on November 24th.
The caption on the photo had been defaced to read “Make Bombs” instead of “Make Love” and “Please stop driving taxis” was thrown in for good measure. The actions of this racist are not too surprising since we have seen Twitter explode with racist and homophobic slurs. This time, however, GAP responded perfectly!
Then they changed the cover image on their Twitter account to the proper ad.
Mr. Iftikhar told the Huffington Post why he shared the photo.
When I first saw my Facebook friend’s photo of this GAP subway advertisement defaced by vandals with racist messages, I wanted the world to see how millions of brown people are viewed in America today.
The GAP is now in the process of restoring the defaced ad and has stated officially:
Gap is a brand that celebrates inclusion and diversity. Our customers and employees are of many different ethnicities, faiths, and lifestyles and we support them all.
Waris Ahluwalia is the Sikh model for the ad. He is a well-known jewelry designer under the name, The House of Waris. When the ad campaign debuted featuring Waris, GAP received an outpouring of support from members of the Sikh community, including starting a Facebook page to thank them.
The response from GAP and the outpouring of support from so many restores my faith in humanity a little bit. All to often, the stories we hear about from social media are negative and hateful. This is an incredible example of using social media for good and of people stepping up and doing the right thing. I hope more people and companies choose to do the same.
About the Author
Christin Berger is the Recovered Conservative. She is passionate about the environment, equality, and education. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from the University of Nebraska at Omaha after serving 12 years as an Army Medic. She is the author of the Jacqueline the Great series of children’s books which is a series aimed at empowering young girls to believe that they can do anything they want to do. She has several works in progress including a book series aimed at celebrating our differences. She shares her home with five very creative children (read: messy) and one very active ferret.