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Edmonton is Becoming a Very Awkward Place for Racism

Despite living in 2016, racism is alive and well across Canada.

Actor Jesse Lipscombe recently found that out first-hand while doing nothing but exist in Edmonton when a group of dummies repeatedly yelled “The n—-rs are coming, the n—–rs are coming” from a stopped car.

Ironically, he was filming a PSA about how awesome Edmonton is.

Lipscombe responded by walking up to the vehicle, opening the door, and making things awkward.

Inspired by Lipscombe’s action, Edmonton mayor Don Iveson launched a social media campaign with the hashtag #MakeItAwkward to call on Canadians from coast to coast to take a stand against racism. It essentially works like this: someone says or does something racist, you make them feel like a major doofus for it.

“It’s time to start the conversation,” he said. “It’s going to get a little bit awkward. That’s how we’re going to make change,” said Iveson.

“As Canadians, we’d like to think that those values don’t exist in our community. But in the hearts of some people, they do, and they need to be challenged. It’s time to have an awkward conversation about that. And I’m so proud of Jesse for starting it.”

Many other Canadian politicians, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, have backed to movement.

While we like to think of ourselves as one of the most progressive countries in the world, it’s equally important to recognize racism does exist on a considerable level in Canada.

“I don’t think you have time to hear all the examples that I have of people who’ve experienced systemic, as well as just incidental, racism,” said Black Lives Matter Edmonton organizer Reakash Walters.

“It’s not something that is new, but it is something that we need to start realizing collectively is an issue so that we can move forward on dealing with it.”

If dealing with it requires making the small-minded feel all squirrelly and bothered, all the better.


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