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A regional council in Canada has been slammed for creating a ‘tone deaf scavenger hunt’ which was supposed to celebrate Black History Month.
Last week, officials from the Region of Durham – a municipality east of Toronto that is home to more than 645,000 people – released a scaffold which challenged council employees to complete six different activities.
The activities included ‘dance to a Reggae song’, ‘cook an African or Caribbean meal’ and ‘have a conversation with a Black employee’.
The scaffold also asked workers to ‘take a photo of an item in the home that reminds the participant of Black history and explain why’.
Officials asked employees to ‘rise to the challenge’ and complete the activities by February 8.
However, the scaffold was subsequently shared to Twitter by outraged locals who accused the Region of Durham of trivializing Black History Month.
A regional council in Canada has been slammed for creating a ‘tone deaf scavenger hunt’ which was supposed to celebrate Black History Month. The scaffold featuring six activities is pictured above
The Region of Durham is a municipality east of Toronto that is home to more than 645,000 people
Prominent Canadian journalist Desmond Cole posted a screenshot of the scaffold to Twitter, which quickly went viral
‘This is what we’re doing in 2021?’ prominent Canadian journalist Desmond Cole asked on social media beneath a screenshot of the scaffold.
Cole says he was stunned by the trivial activities that were included on the scaffold.
He told CTV News: ‘When I shared this [on Twitter], my responses from black people were a mixture of disgust, ridicule, and disappointment – but nobody was surprised,’
‘These are the conditions that black people have to work in everyday; conditions where people would think an activity like this is appropriate and even maybe honouring us as black people. It’s disappointing—we make a lot of jokes and we laugh and it’s so sad to see this carelessness at the Durham Regional government.’
The outrage prompted an apology from the Region of Durham officials, who posted to Twitter: ‘Through engaging with the community and Regional staff we acknowledge that mistakes will be made while addressing anti-black racism.’
They later released a second statement which read: ‘We recognize that missteps were made with this virtual challenge. For that we apologize, and we will continue to do better.’
Prominent Canadian journalist Desmond Cole was outraged by the regional council’s Black History Month scavenger hunt
The outrage prompted an apology from the Region of Durham officials, who posted to Twitter: ‘Through engaging with the community and Regional staff we acknowledge that mistakes will be made while addressing anti-black racism’
Politician Celina Caesar-Chavannes, who currently lives in the Region of Durham, also blasted the scavenger hunt, and was left less than impressed with the apology.
‘[It’s] a very poignant example of systemic racism and what happens when you do not have enough Black employees around the table to vet these kinds of things before they go public,’ she told Global News on Monday.
‘This is a juvenile, insulting attempt to trivialize not only Black History Month but Black constituency in Durham Region as well as employees.’
After reading their apology, she posted on Twitter: ‘This [apology] is worse than the activity. So much worse. You had a year to do something other that this trivial bulls**t and yet you chose to do it anyway.
‘This was not a mistake. This was willful ignorance and a slap in the face of your black constituency and employees.’
Politician Celina Caesar-Chavannes, who currently lives in the Region of Dunham, also blasted the scavenger hunt, and was left less than impressed with the apology
An apology from the Region of Durham failed to satisfy politician Celina Caesar-Chavannes
Source: Daily Mail CA