#MakeitAwkward: Mayor, Lipscombe respond to racist incident with new campaign
A day after a video he posted showing a racist incident went viral, an Edmonton man and the city’s mayor have collaborated behind a campaign to stop racism, bigotry and homophobia.
On Friday morning, Edmontonian Jesse Lipscombe and Mayor Don Iveson appeared in a Facebook Live video to launch a campaign targeting not only racism, but sexism, bigotry and homophobia as well.
“This is the infancy stages of creating the rose out of concrete,” Lipscombe said in the video. “Obviously a lot of racial tension has occurred, and our wonderful mayor has stepped up and just had a meeting.
“Right now we have a new campaign about what can the bystanders do, what can you do when you see something like this on the street or at home, make it awkward.”
“That little feeling of someone who thought they could get away with the racial slurs, or the sexism jokes, or jokes about the LGBT community, that’s not OK. When you hear it, instead of being quiet, you can make it awkward,” Lipscombe said.
The announcement came a day after Lipscombe posted a video on Facebook showing an encounter where a man in a car shouted a racial slur at him, as he shot a PSA highlighting Edmonton’s downtown.
As the camera kept rolling, Lipscombe approached the car, which was stopped at an intersection, opened the door and crouched down – he can be heard in the video talking to the man, asking him to repeat what he had said.
The man in the passenger’s seat struggled to close the door, and moments later finally did – as the car drove off, he can be heard shouting the slur again.
The video quickly went viral, prompting widespread condemnation on social media.