PETA is so tone deaf, so irrational, and so devoid of functioning ethics alarms, it is depressing that the group has so much support. (Here’s an Ethics Alarms compendium of some of their unethical misadventures. ) Currently the group is grandstanding—again–by harassing the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club, arguing that “Phil” should be replaced with an animatronic groundhog. Whatever. (This is Groundhog Day, you know. This is Groundhog Day, you know.) That nonsense, however, has been superseded by the uproar caused by the obnoxious TV ad above.
After it was rejected by the NFL–I don’t know why: I am very much in favor of letting foolish groups expose their foolishness to the nation and pay a bundle for the privilege–PETA released it anyway. As you can see, it shows cute animated animals, including a snake, “taking a knee” like Colin Kaepernick and his acolytes as “The Star Spangled Banner” is hummed in the background. Big mistake.
Heh, heh, heh...
The ad was quickly criticized as stupid, of course, since it is, for the “kneeling” snake and fish. Others called it disrespectful to the United States, the National Anthem and veterans. The Snake Anti-Defamation League sent a venomous letter of protest. OK, that was a joke.
This isn’t: PETA was accused of “appropriating” Kaepernick’s protest against racial injustice and police brutality and attempting to equate black men to animals. This is the group that has argued that the Bill of Rights applies to whales and lower primates, so this shouldn’t be a shock.
The Root took aim and fired: “PETA colonized the Black Lives Matter Movement; disrespected Colin Kaepernick’s protest against injustice, and made a mockery of 400 years of systemic oppression by comparing Black lives to grizzly bears and bald eagles.”
But animals have been abused by humans since the cave men!
Erica Cobb, co-host of Daily Blast LIVE called PETA’s ad “disrespectful,” adding,”Black people already feel like dogs having clean drinking water is more important than black people have clean drinking water.”
The hashtag #PETA is suddenly all over social media, and not in a good way. Anita Sarkeesian, feminist activist, tweeted,
“Not wanting to add more views or attention to PETA but I’m so tired of how consistently their ‘activism’ is deeply oppressive, offensive, and degrading to ACTUAL HUMAN BEINGS. Of course, we shouldn’t be cruel to animals but the real oppression of Black folks is not equivalent.”
PETA, not surprisingly since nobody associated with the group seems to have any properly functioning ethics alarms, then started blocking critics on Twitter, but not before trying the Rationalizations known as The Unethical Role Model (#32) and The Hillary Inoculation, or “If he/she doesn’t care, why should anyone else?” (#42) by trotting out Kaepernick himself to say that he doesn’t mind the ad. (Hmmm…should I add a Rationalization called “The Idiot’s Endorsement”?)
It couldn’t happen to a nicer advocacy group.