Last Saturday during a march against white supremacy in Charlottesville, Virginia, a man drove a Dodge Challenger into the crowd, killing at least one and injuring dozens more. The vehicle was traveling at 40 mph, a speed that has a 90% fatality rate when hitting pedestrians. It’s a miracle more didn’t die.
The suspect is a registered Republican and ‘Unite White’ member. Many have labeled the suspect in this horrific act of terrorism a Nazi.
It seems hardly coincidence that he chose the vehicle he did as a lethal weapon. Dodge’s marketing campaign for the Challenger seems geared towards violent sociopaths on a disturbing level.
Video of car hitting anti-racist protestors. Let there be no confusion: this was deliberate terrorism. My prayers with victims. Stay home. pic.twitter.com/MUOZs71Pf4
— Brennan Gilmore (@brennanmgilmore) August 12, 2017
It was only hours after this horrific act that I noticed many ads for this car were popping up as “Sponsored” on Twitter. Clearly Dodge had to have known about this incident, yet did nothing to take down the ads, and to be sure, did not at the very least remove them from their sponsored status.
And why would they? A quick look at their branding efforts reveal exactly the kind of self-absorbed lunatic they’re going for would likely love to run down human beings in their way.
— Motorisms (@DrivinHere) August 14, 2017
Time for Attack. pic.twitter.com/gO7PRCkx0X
— Dodge (@Dodge) June 24, 2017
— Dodge (@Dodge) June 15, 2017
— Dodge (@Dodge) July 25, 2017
— Dodge (@Dodge) August 9, 2017
Fortunately, I wasn’t alone in noticing how disgusting these ads were. Many had been calling out Dodge for the reckless attitudes they were fostering well before Saturday’s bloody attack.
Slow hand clap, Dodge, for promoting your product as an aggressive tool of intimidation. Brilliant piece of brand marketing.
— Mostly Harmless (@nosliWtrautS) July 25, 2017
Do you feel that “ultimate aggression” is something that should be promoted with cars given the numbers of road deaths?
— Richard Warner (@rgwarner) July 25, 2017
Yow. Dodge, ya might want to pull back on the penis thing.
— LORDY (@AZTanya) August 14, 2017
You have blood on your hands, @Dodge.
— ???? ????? (@SpacePootler) August 14, 2017
Even more sickening and disturbing are efforts by Republican legislators to make deliberately running down protesters with a car legal. You can’t make this shit up.
It’s already practically legal to kill with a car. Even unintentional hit and run collisions are usually forgiven as long as the driver claims A) they didn’t realize they hit someone, or B) returns to the scene of the crime. Only in the most extremely obvious cases of deliberate vehicle violence is the charge of man slaughter or murder enacted.
— Vets Against Trump (@commondefense) August 13, 2017
As we saw in Times Square earlier this summer, it’s obvious that a car that can drive 40 mph in a dense urban environment is just as deadly as an automatic assault rifle. Even when driven normally, cars are still ridiculously unsafe. When deliberately used as a weapon, cars are tools of terrorism.
We need to continue to remove cars from our urban environment to ensure our streets as public commons can be places for people, protest, and prosperity.