Clean Up BPPA

a campaign to remove offensive rhetoric from the Pax Centurion newsletter

Samples

Want to say something to a sponsor, but don’t know where to begin? Here are some sample letters, Facebook comments and Tweets:

Letter of Inquiry (very professional):

Subject: Your advertisements in the Boston Police Patrolman’s
Association newsletter

Text:

Hi,

I am currently living in Boston, and it’s come to my attention that
________ advertises with the Boston Police Patrolman’s Association.
The BPPA serves as a union for police officers and provides a
scholarship fund for adult education for its members, which are both
admirable.

However it also puts out a bimonthly newsletter (Pax Centurion). This
newsletter is host to numerous rants and jokes which demean virtually
every minority group, be it a racial, religious, political, gender or
sexual minority. One particularly obscene example manages to combine
racism, misogyny and necrophilia, which can be read on page 51 of the
current newsletter (http://bppa.org/Pax/PAX%202012%20MayJune.pdf).
This is not in any way isolated, as a brief reading of the newsletter
will reveal.

I bring this to your attention because it seems that most advertisers
did not realize their money was going to support hate speech, rather
than the college fund. I hope you’ll do the right thing and withdraw
that support.

Thank you for your time,

Post on a sponsor’s Facebook page (friendly):

<Sponsor name>, I noticed you’re advertising in the BPPA newsletter, Pax Centurion. The BPPA newsletter has recently come under fire for its offensive content (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/48019785/ns/local_news-boston_ma/t/boston-police-patrolmens-union-under-fire/#.T_L3qHBy9Aa) and local sponsors have already decided to pull their advertisements. Will you do the same, to send a message to the BPPA that hate speech is never acceptable? Many advertisers were under the impression they were only supporting the scholarship and not this publication. For more examples of the types of content in this newsletter, please click here: http://cleanupbppa.wordpress.com/pax-centurions-offensive-content/

Post on a sponsor’s Facebook page (a little more casual & forceful):

Hey <sponsor name here>,

Why are you supporting the highly offensive Boston Police Patrolman’s Association newsletter?

Here’s a little sample from their most recent issue:

“Happy Birthday you rotten Commies! Maybe your candidate for squaw I mean senator, Liz Warren (your founder) can bake you a cake.”

There is plenty more sexist, racist commentary to be found there. Is this what you support?
http://www.bppa.org/PAX/PAX%202012%20MayJune.pdf
www.bppa.org

A letter of inquiry with some personal commentary inserted:

Dear _____,

I am a student living in Boston, and it’s come to my attention that ____  advertises with the Boston Police Patrolman’s Association. As you know, the BPPA serves as a union for police officers and provides a scholarship fund for adult education for its members, which are both admirable.

However it also puts out a bimonthly newsletter (Pax Centurion). This newsletter is host to numerous rants and jokes which demean virtually every minority group, be it a racial, religious, political, gender or sexual minority. One particularly obscene example manages to combine racism, misogyny and necrophilia, which can be read on page 51 of the current newsletter (http://bppa.org/Pax/PAX%202012%20MayJune.pdf).
This is not in any way isolated, as a brief reading of the newsletter will reveal. Additional content samples can be found here: http://cleanupbppa.wordpress.com/pax-centurions-offensive-content/

To be frank, I find this behavior shocking. While I understand that people hold views vastly different from mine and that racism, sexism and homophobia are in no way mere relics of the past, it is shocking to see this speech made so openly and with so little regard for who may be hurt. This is the language of Internet trolls, hiding behind anonymity, not what one expects to hear from law enforcement officers.

That they are law enforcement officers may be the most disturbing, as these are people who are supposed to protect and serve all people; how can women, queer people or people of color have any faith in the police if their spokesmen (and they are all men) feel comfortable denigrating them in print? And what does it say that local and national businesses are willing to put their names next to said print?

I bring this to your attention because it seems that most advertisers did not realize their money was going to support hate speech, rather than the scholarship fund. I hope that ____ will do the right thing and withdraw that support. I would add that, given that all advertisers that responded so far were under the impression they were donating to the college fund, it may be worth verifying that your money is going where you think it is.

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