Picture yourself walking through downtown Edmonton on a nice afternoon as a racial minority. All of a sudden, from a car stopped at the intersection, a group of White people start to yell racial slurs at you. What would be your response? Would you walk away? Confront them?
Well Jess Lipscombe, a Black actor and former high-jump champion, had an exact similar experience and he turned the whole incident into something really nice, challenging, smart and ‘awkward’.
#MakeItAwkward campaign is something that was inspired by a racial encounter. It’s a campaign launched by the actor, his wife, Julia, and Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson. It encourage people to respectfully confront those people who say racist comments and hateful things to convey the message that discrimination will not be tolerated. This campaign is clearly a reflection of our freedom of speech and expression against bigotry and ignorance which hinder Canada’s growth as a society.
Confront it! Don’t just walk away
Jess believes the people who use racial slurs and comments think that they won’t be questioned. This gives them more confidence to continue acting in an ignorant manner. #MakeItAwkward encourages people to confront the “instigator” and ask questions, giving the latter a chance to explain their behavior. Most often, people who make racist comments are just ignorant about people from other races. All we need to do is talk and deal with it at the root. That’s exactly what Jess’s campaign is all about.
Want to make it more awkward?
You can go their website makeitawkward.ca to take the pledge to help and support their activities to fight hate and bigotry. You can join the conversation and follow them on Twitter and Instagram by using #Makeitawkward.