BART says it can't reject controversial ad

- If you take BART at the Powell or Montgomery Street stations in San Francisco and look quickly, you may see an ad that reads "History Matters."

"There's nothing wrong with it. I think it's better than ads for merchandise, says a Pleasanton woman who only gave the name Christine.

"It's really deceptive. There's really not a lot of information about it," says a Berkeley woman who only gave the name Leslie.  

"Their message doesn't really come through. I mean history matters could say anything," says Brian of Pleasanton.  

Taking a closer look at the ad you can see it's from a group called Institute For Historical Review or IHR. 

"I have an idea that it's from a group that is not great," says Leslie.  

According to the nonprofit legal advocacy group the Southern Poverty Law Center, the IHR was founded by an anti-Semitic group, who at that time said the Holocaust didn't happen. 

They’re trying to disregard history.  History matters but if history matters you can't disregard it. You can't say it didn't happen," says Brian.

"That’s distributing. I think there's a resurgence of hatred and it's not a good thing to see," says Christine.

Mike Weber the director of The IHR says the history matters slogan is in line with the group's work and purpose. On the group's website, the director is quoted as saying:   

"President Trump, together with prominent politicians of both major parties, seem to have learned nothing from the record of failed U.S. military interventions only by learning from the mistakes of the past, can Americans chart a sane, just and progressive path for the future," says Weber.  

Many people have taken to social media demanding that BART take the signs down.  

But BART says even if they wanted to, they couldn't.  

"BART cannot reject the ads as they are currently written. Nor can we reject the ads based on the group purchasing the ad. BART does not endorse the ads and as a government transit agency we are bound by law to carry the ads as written," says BART spokeswoman Alicia Trost.

"They skirt that second amendment issue because it can cause violence," says Christine.  Most people we came across were busy on their phones and didn't pay any attention to the ads. 

They pop up for about seven seconds every minute on multiple video billboards. The ads will be at both stations until the end of the month. 
 

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