After 9/11 both profit and non-profit organizations used the tragedy to launch ads,
promotions, and campaigns
“Non profit advertising sought to “Sell” ideas about an imagined American
community and redefine American identity and citizenship.”
After 9/11 the government’s antiterror campaign involved interviewing almost
200,00 Arabs and Muslims; detaining 1000s of As, Ms, and South Asians,
instituting special registration requirements for As and Ms, and shutting down
their charities and other organizations
USA Patriot act enabled increased surveillance (wiretapping, searches at airports,
These acts made by the government marked these identities a suspect and “un-
These government practices created a binary: American and Muslim/Arab,
American vs Arab/Muslim, good and evil. Citizens vs.Non citizen terrorists.
One way that this idea materially manifested itself was through hate crimes
(harassment, businesses burned, and murder). The people committing these
crimes sawn themselves as patriots.
Studies showed that ppl in the US saw Islamic countries were oppressive to
women, violent, dangerous, and fanatical.
The essay “examines how nonprofit advertising participated in refiguring an
imagined American Community after 9/11.”
Ads examined: “I am an American” “I am an American Muslim” and the “Shared
Alultany argues that “in an effort to deconstruct the binary, these PSAs
reproduced restrictive representations of diversity.
“I am an American”
The Ad Council has made PSAs since 1942 to raise public awareness on a variety
of social issues ranging from the prevention of serious social issues (child abuse,
drugs, discrimination, etc)
“I am an American” made in direct response to hundreds of hate crimes against
Ms, As, and Sikhs and began airing ten days after 9/11.
Ad aims to discourage further attacks on Muslims, Arabs, and Sikhs by promoting
The ad doesn’t present a range of languages, only English with various accents.
Ad council website states “Diversity is what defines America.” However, what
kind of diversity is acceptable?
In the Ad there are no visible markers of anything Muslim, Arab, or Shikh, only
slight hints that
be. There are no veils, turbans, beards, etc.
The one person who could be constued as an Arab-American is the only person
who has a hard time articulating he is an American (He is so overcome with