Substance abuse is a serious medical issue. Progressive organizations should not be in the business of furthering stigmatization of marginalized people.
Courage Campaign's mission statement says the organization seeks to "defend and extend human and civil rights secured by law, to end prejudice and discrimination, and to help people work more effectively to address issues that affect their communities to make a positive difference."
But by perpetuating stereotypes about drug users and by stigmatizing people who struggle with substance abuse, this ad (which was ironically released on National Day Without Stigma) contributes to attitudes that allow harmful, punishment-focused drug laws to stay on the books. It needs to be taken down immediately.
Substance abuse is a serious medical issue and progressive organizations should not be in the business of furthering stigmatization of marginalized people.
The anti-Prop-32 ad created by Courage Campaign stigmatizes those who suffer from substance abuse and their friends and families. In a misguided attempt to raise awareness about Prop 32, Courage Campaign threw an already marginalized group of people under the bus: those suffering from drug addiction.
We wouldn't accept an ad making fun of other stigmatized people. We must also reject this ad, which describes the loved ones we've lost as "always lying, desperately needing money, pale, bags under eyes, paranoid" and jokes about them ruining Christmas, stealing Mom's purse, and puking on the cat.
Whether or not one supports or opposes Prop 32, stigmatizing people is not how you win allies. The Prop 32 campaign and its endorsers should call on Courage Campaign to take down this offensive ad.
Please distance yourself from Courage Campaign's ad immediately.