Invisible Hate unveils historical misinformation and use of taxpayer funding for Confederate symbols still standing across America, empowers citizens
ATLANTA--(BUSINESS WIRE)--#TearThemDown--The Atlanta chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in partnership with 22Squared, an independent creative agency, today announced Invisible Hate, an interactive digital and social education experience aimed at exposing historical truths and contexts behind 700+ Confederate monuments and symbols across the United States. The tool empowers Americans to identify and understand symbols of racism and hate in their own cities while providing easy-to-access email templates that demand local and regional legislators remove public symbols of hate.
How It Works
The web-based platform includes an interactive map that shows the locations of Confederate monuments across the country. Using location-based technology, users can opt into finding the closest symbol to them while receiving supplementary historical information about it.
The platform also enables each user to seamlessly generate a customizable email to their appropriate local government representative and make their opinions known, including sharing activity on social media. If the user is physically in front of the monument, they can take a photo and apply custom stickers to it, then share to social media. If the user isn’t near a monument, they can select from a library of images and place stickers over the image, also shareable via social media.
Please find a video detailing Invisible Hate here.
History of Invisible Hate
Confederate symbols across the U.S. have been effigies of hate with whitewashed histories since the Civil War, yet many still standing are less than 100 years old. Beyond statues, these symbols include homes, parks, fountains, museums, libraries and cemeteries. While some monuments are privately maintained and funded, many Confederate symbols and their upkeep, especially those located on government property, are funded by tax dollars, sometimes even federal tax dollars. Over the past decade, American taxpayers have unwittingly paid more than $40 million to Confederate monuments and heritage organizations.
Invisible Hate was brought to life over a three-year period by a core collaborative team between the local Atlanta chapter of the NAACP and other creative organizations based on the chapter’s existing work towards the removal of Confederate monuments. The collaboration team includes 22Squared, who created the foundation for the platform, and MarketSmiths, an independent, third-party content writing and research agency, who wrote and fact-checked many of the entries, as well as verified the platform’s information. M ss ng P eces, an award-winning production company, built the launching platform.
“Far too often, Americans have been complacent in accepting what’s been told about our country’s roots instead of questioning their accuracy. These symbols are no exception,” said Richard Rose, president of the NAACP Atlanta chapter. “Collectively, citizens need to understand that hate symbols exist to normalize racism and that our nation continues to perpetuate hate, violence and racism. Monuments are not history. They are political statements. These statements have encouraged hate and division. Invisible Hate is an educational instrument and its information provides a clearer picture of our past in an effort to better our futures.”
As police brutality and racism protests continue today, these symbols continue to stand. A few of the more obvious monuments have already been taken down, either by the local governments themselves or by activist citizens and protest groups. Cities nationwide are removing various symbols piece by piece; however, there are many state and local laws protecting against the unlawful removal of Confederate monuments.
“America is starting to confront its own historical ignorance on a mass scale but there’s still quite a bit of education needed,” said 22Squared creative director Alex Lukacs and one of Invisible Hate’s core team leads. “We believe that Invisible Hate can be the tool to capitalize on the momentum the country is feeling by giving everyone the power to do something about these symbols of hate and change today’s conversations.”
Reverend Robert W. Lee IV, the ancestor of Confederate general Robert E. Lee and author of A Sin by Any Other Name: Reckoning With Racism and the Heritage of the South, has condemned the ubiquity of these symbols, openly stating in an opinion article in The Washington Post that he supports the removal of Robert E. Lee’s statues. He lends his support of Invisible Hate.
“I have spent years advocating for the removal of racist symbols of hate across this country. I recognize the destructive power of a racist legacy all too well,” said Lee. “It’s become necessary to have a movement and platform to efficiently identify and remove these symbols from the public eye, especially if their true histories have been overwritten by years of white supremacy and institutional racism. Invisible Hate will provoke new conversations and policy change.”
About NAACP Atlanta
Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation's oldest and largest civil rights organization. From the ballot box to the classroom, the thousands of dedicated workers, organizers, leaders and members who make up the NAACP continue to fight for social justice for all Americans.
22Squared is an independent, full-service creative & media company who believes that brands who Do Good Things win in business, win with consumers and win in society. We understand that advertising can't solve every problem, but know that creativity can. We do our best work with brands who believe that doing good and making money are not mutually exclusive. With 370 people across two offices in Atlanta and Tampa, we have spent the last 98 years creating enduring growth through positive impact with some of the most iconic brands in the U.S. Visit us at 22Squared.com to learn more.
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