An awareness campaign, aimed at young people in hopes of bringing about an attitude change against racism has been launched following the second aggressive incident caught on camera on Edmonton’s streets. Mayor Don Iveson is calling on people to “make it awkward” and call out racism after a viral video shows someone hurling a racist slur on a downtown street earlier this week.
The impromptu video, where film maker Jessie Lipscombe confronted some one who hurled a racial slur at him has been seen around the world now on his Face Book page. That same page was used Friday morning to launch the campaign.
“You know that little feeling of someone who thought they could get away with the racial slurs, or the sexism jokes or the jokes about the LGBTQ community, that’s not okay. And when you hear it, instead of being quiet, make it awkward,” Lipscombe says with #MakeitAwkward written on a whiteboard in the background.
It will be a springboard for an upcoming anti-racism campaign, that Iveson said he hopes will be distributed through faith based and community organizations as well as Edmonton’s school boards.
“I think the leadership can come as it often does for social change, from young Edmonontians, young Canadians, who see this hashtag, who see this idea, who grab up the positivity of this and say that kind of hatred is not the kind of Canada or the kind of city or the kind of community that I want to live in. The kind of Canada that I want to live in is one where that is unabashedly understood as unacceptable.”
“Around the dinner table, in the locker room, where ever it’s happening when people make fun of another group of people based on what they look like, or how they worship. That is not the Canada that I celebrate. That is not the city that I lead.”
It’s the second high profile racial slur captured with in a month. Iveson said the Bashir Mohamed incident, led to the individual involved there come forward and apologize.
“I think this crap was happening all the time quite frankly,” Iveson told reporters. “I think more of it is getting caught on film now.”