Unfair Campaign Claims No Regrets

By KBJR News 1

March 7, 2012 Updated Mar 7, 2012 at 10:12 AM CDT

The unfair campaign is now half way through its plans to bring racial equality awareness to the Duluth community.

Leaders with the group are so far pleased with the conversation the campaign has sparked.

The billboards have grabbed attention. And even sparked protest.

Eight simple words have started a major community conversation: "It's hard to see racism when you're white".

"Having the word racism and white together in the same sentence was interpreted by some people that white people were being called racist," says one of the campaigns organizers Ellen O'Neil.

She admits it was not exactly the interpretation they were going for.

"We often don't have to bump up against those barriers that are there for people of color. So it's hard for us to see it. That's what that meant."

"The billboards did a fantastic job of getting people talking-and we had the url on there-but not as many people as we thought went to the website to find out more information," says the campaigns creative designer Mike Malone.

The campaign has certainly sparked more outrage than leaders of the movement had hoped, but they say they are happy the conversation has started.

They say change needs to start with reforming the education system. They say Duluth Schools need a more racially diverse history curriculum and teaching staff.

"They go to school and they see no teachers that look like them, they are studying somebody else's history, their family compilation isn't recognized in the school structure. You can go on and on. What's going to motivate them to stay in school?" says O'Neil.

They are hoping the message of their campaign spreads not only through schools but throughout the community.

And they say they won't stop until there is change.

The unfair campaign is set to go through May. At that point, organizers will evaluate what the next steps should be.

Courtney Godfrey
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