OAKLAND, CA - A national anti-abortion advertising campaign targeting inner-city minorities with racial-specific billboards reached Oakland this month with at least 25 "Black & Beautiful" signs plastered in East and West Oakland.
The billboards feature the picture of a black infant under the bold-lettered title "Black & Beautiful," and direct residents to an anti-abortion website sponsored by the Radiance Foundation, a Georgia-based group opposed to Planned Parenthood.
Similar advertisements have also been appeared on the inner-city streets of Atlanta, Chicago, New York and Los Angeles.
All have similar messages comparing abortion to slavery.
The Radiance Foundation and groups associated with it call the billboards educational, abortion rights and civil rights organizations have labeled them racist, offensive and misleading.
"They are using these terms with abortion to try to divide our community," said Alicia Waters, a member of Trust Black Women California, an organization created in 2009 to combat the advertisements. "To me, that is offensive. It is not a message that uplifts our community. It is not a message that helps young women make a difficult choice."
"It's a horrible approach and I think it is racist on the face of it," said Alice Huffman, president of the California NAACP. "It's misleading and a very, very poisonous approach to politics. They are just alienating people on both sides."