The NAACP and the ACLU have filed a lawsuit against the city of Philadelphia after Philly International Airport officials rejected an advertisement that compares how many Americans are in prison to the incarceration rates for the rest of the world.
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People claims the airport’s refusal to run the ad violates freedom of speech.
The ad (pictured above) reads: “Welcome to America, home to 5 percent of the world's people and 25 percent of the world's prisoners. Let's build a better America together.”
According to the American Civil Liberties Union, city officials claim that the ad was rejected because the city does not accept “issue” or “advocacy” advertisements at the airport.
But the lawsuit states that the city’s defense is incorrect. The ACLU says that airport officials do in fact accept ads from other advocacy groups promoting social and political issues, including the World Wildlife Federation.
The defendants are the city, which oversees the airport, and Clear Channel, which handles airport advertising.
Jennifer Burns at the city solicitor's office declined comment to the Associated Press on pending litigation.