"if you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen
the side of the oppressor." - Desmond Tutu.

Horgan kick starts fifth annual Hands Against Racism campaign in Burnaby Featured

Human Rights! Respect! Inclusion!! Those three slogans were scribbled by Premier John Horgan on a white sheet before he left the Spice Radio studios in Burnaby, where he went on the morning of January 17 to flag off a campaign against racism.

 

Started by Spice Radio CEO Shushma Datt on the birth anniversary of Martin Luther King in 2015, #HandsAgainstRacism has entered its fifth year.

 

This was the first time that the Premier of British Columbia came out to kick start the annual campaign, which encourages people to dip their hands in colour and leave their hand prints on a white sheet with a statement against racism and discrimination. Horgan too coloured his palm before leaving his hand print alongside the above mentioned slogans on the sheet of white paper in the presence of the staff at Spice Radio. 

 

Earlier, he spoke with Datt, who is a seasoned broadcaster on air on a range of issues, including racism and his government’s initiative to tackle hate crimes. His government has already started the process to bring back the BC Human Rights Commission that was dismantled by the previous Liberal government, making BC the only province in Canada without such commission.

 

Notably, last year Horgan had sent his picture with his hand up in the air, making a vow to stop racism. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and former Premier Christy Clark were also pictured with their hands up in the air as part of this campaign in the past.   

 

The campaign goes on until the end of March every year, and culminates around the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.  The idea of asking people to colour their hands and simultaneously make a statement against racism came from the Hindu festival of Holi that falls during spring. Holi is a unique festival in India, where people throw colours at each other and become one by forgetting all their class and caste differences.

 

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