There has been legitimate criticism (including on this blog) of President Donald Trump retweeting images of his killing or beating media figures. However, there is often less coverage of such violent images from the left. One shocking example appeared this week in advertisements in New York for the athletic apparel company Dhvani showing a model assaulting Trump. The company did not back down from its violent display, though Planned Parenthood denounced the ads after Dhvani named it as a collaborating partner in the campaign design. The campaign titled #StandForSomething seems to mean stand for something tasteless and brutal.
The ads show Trump bound in red, white, and blue rope by an enraged woman with her foot in her face. The Portland, Oregon company seemed to relish its violent political commentary: “We realize that some of our customers won’t agree with our activism and that’s okay with us. We’re not afraid to make bold statements & exercise our first amendment rights.”
Yes, it is free speech and yes it is so tasteless and grotesque that the company is worthy of universal shunning by consumers. Of course, there will be many who are thrilled by the violent images and message. There are a series of such violent images planned.
For those who criticize Trump for fueling violent speech, there appears a muted response to this openly violent display.
Notably, the Dhvani chief communications officer and the lead model in the campaign, Chloe Mason, told the media that Planned Parenthood had a role in the campaign: “We are proud to join Planned Parenthood in defending women from assaults on our reproductive rights.”
The problem is that Planned Parenthood says that the collaboration never occurred. The group released a statement by Melanie Newman, Senior Vice President, directly denying Mason’s statement:
“Planned Parenthood does not endorse this campaign, nor will we be accepting funds raised by this campaign. Our staff members have faced threats and acts of violence for doing their jobs, and many of our patients turn to us as their safe space for care after facing violence in their lives. We do not condone violence or violent imagery against anyone.”
If true, the Planned Parenthood statement would make Dhvani not just distasteful but dishonest.