High Schoolers Angered by Racist Town Flyer Respond Awesomely
byKaitlin StanfordJun 17, 2014
Most of us barely look at the flyers and pamphlets we get handed in the street, tossing them easily in the trash before reading. But for those who live in the town of Bampton, Canada, there was one flyer, circulated recently, that some residents just couldn't ignore.
It was created by a group known as Immigration Watch. Written across its top was a simple headline: "The Changing Face of Brampton." Beneath it, was a photo of an all-white group, sitting upright in their chairs and looking well-dressed. "From this ..." the flyer read, "To this ..." as it showed a crowd of angry, protesting Sikhs.
The caption further informs the reader that according to a 2001 city census report, "mainstream Canadians" made up 59.6% of Brampton's social fabric. But by 2011, that number had dropped to 32.9%.
"What will the Census findings be in 5, 10 or even 15 years from now?" the flyer asks.
As the flyer made its way around the town, and then around Twitter, it also caught the attention of a group of teens at Brampton's Louise Arbour Secondary School — who just so happened to be in a class called "Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity." There, teacher Lanny Cedrone whipped out the flyer and used it to create an open dialogue with his 11th graders. And let's just say they were not happy about the whole thing. So much so that they soon decided to make their own flyer; one that wasn't dripping with racism.
Instead, it looked like this:
(A pretty amazing and powerful message to come from a class full of 11th graders, huh?)
"The reality is, the original flyer has misrepresented our experience in our day-to-day lives in Brampton," student Sonali Prasad told the Toronto Star. "Anybody could respond to hate with hate, and ignorance to ignorance. We want to go with an open mind and just give people the truth. That’s the difference."
If these kids are the future, it seems to be looking bright.