A new billboard on I-94 in Michigan has been confusing drivers who don’t speak Arabic — and making those who do laugh — since last weekend.
Photo by Mike Rogowski/The Nuisance Committee/Facebook
The roadside sign was posted in Dearborn, home to the most Arab-American residents per capita of any city in the United States.
Translated, it reads: “Donald Trump can’t read this, but he’s scared of it.”
The Nuisance Committee, a political action committee founded by Max Temkin, a co-creator of the game Cards Against Humanity, is responsible for the billboard and its message.
The sign directs people to a website that tracks Trump’s major statements about Muslims and Muslim-Americans from the beginning of his campaign through present.
A+++ troll job. Billboard on I-94 is written completely in Arabic. It reads: "Donald Trump can't read this but he's afraid of it" pic.twitter.com/GMgBBckNnf
— Rawan (@rawan) October 18, 2016
“We knew that Trump’s rhetoric is based on fear not on reality, and we wanted to have something that would poke at how irrational his anti-immigrant fear is,” said Kitty Kurth, a spokesperson for the Nuisance Committee.
Attacks against Muslim-Americans have risen significantly since the start of last year.
According to data compiled by researchers at California State University, San Bernardino — first reported in the New York Times — anti-Muslim and specifically anti-Arab hate crimes spiked 78% in 2015 to the highest level since Sept. 11, 2001.
In December, a Trump campaign press release called for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.”
The committee hopes the billboard — along with two others in Illinois and Florida — helps persuade swing-state voters who are turned off by Trump’s “racism and xenophobia” to mobilize against him.
“Throughout our history as a nation, we have been built into a strong nation by the contribution of immigrants, but at the same time, many of our people have had fear of the other and fear of the unknown,” Kurth said.
A press release from the PAC encourages non-Arabic speakers who encounter the sign to “ask a friend what it says.”