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Activists call Winnipeg Whiteout tradition racist
Activists call Winnipeg Whiteout tradition racist
Opinion

Activists call Winnipeg Whiteout tradition racist 

Winnipeg is a diverse city that rallies around its beloved hockey team. The Winnipeg Jets have fans of all genders, ethnicities, political views, and religions. The Winnipeg Whiteout is a tradition that dates back to 1987, in which fans create a virtual blizzard in response to the Calgary Flames’ “C of Red” by wearing all-white clothing during games, while also flooding the streets in support of their team.

Whiteout street parties in April and May 2018 crowded downtown Winnipeg streets to the point where attendance was capped at 27,000. (Darren Bernhardt/CBC)

But now the fan-inspired “white out” is being called problematic by some Winnipeg activists, including local grassroots advocacy group Black Space Winnipeg.

According to Black Space Winnipeg’s founder Alexa Potashnik, some of the language used by Winnipeg Jets fans in their celebration of the postseason is problematic, and could potentially be making people feel unsafe!

They argue that usage of phrases like, “Turn downtown Winnipeg White again” mirror phrases used by “a problematic US politician,” he who shall not be named, President Trump. They argue that headlines like “Province to spend up to $400K on Whiteout parties” could potentially “carry a very different meaning depending on who’s reading it.” This is very true. If any social justice troglodyte were to come across such a headline, I’m sure they would be quick to demand an apology from the “alt-right” adjacent Winnipeg Jets.

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