There’s a frightening amount of hate in the world right now, and very often, the physical results can be left behind as a constant reminder. Everywhere we go, we’re always at risk of seeing slurs tagged on walls, and hateful graffitis hiding under bridges or on buildings.
This is where Corey Fleischer comes in. His mission? Erasing hate, one graffiti at a time. And now, his personal motto has turned into a worldwide initiative.
Corey saw his first hate sign–and decided to take action
Corey started his initiative, Erasing Hate, 9 years ago. At the time, he was driving to a client’s house in the suburbs when he spotted a swatiska painted on a block of concrete. As he kept driving and arrived at his client’s place, he couldn’t get that image out of his mind.
He regretted not having done anything about that hateful symbol. So he went back to the site, and got rid of it.
“I went back to Monkland and I erased my first swastika.”
Now, Erasing Hate combines social media and graffiti removal. People can report sightings to him. Then, he and his crew would go to the site and take care of it.
He documents his various missions
On his Instagram, Corey shares his various missions with his followers, Like the time when he looked upon a swastika etched into a downtown Montreal sidewalk. Then, he erased that symbol of hate by covering swastika with cement using a trowel.
I’m dedicating this to the 11 people who were massacred at the synagogue in Pittsburgh.Corey Fleischer
“And just like that, your hate is gone,” he says.
Corey’s main occupation is a graffiti removal company, so he already has all the tools he needs.
Removing hate is more than just a pastime
Taking down these hate symbols is more than just a pastime for Corey. Fleischer says the feeling of removing these symbols “is like drugs…It’s an extremely euphoric feeling. It’s something that I’ve never been able to explain.”
This is what makes me feel complete as a person.Corey Fleischer to CBC News
Corey is now working to take his movement global by releasing an Erasing Hate app that would let anyone with an iOs or Android smartphone report hate graffiti.
The app would allow users to send photos and the geolocation of hate graffiti to Fleischer, who would then use his social media presence to find volunteers to remove it.
He has already inspired people to remove hate in Paris and Los Angeles.
“We remove hate anywhere in the world, free of charge,” Corey said.
Small actions have large impact
Corey found a way to have an impact by using his skills to make our world a better place. As the world is going through turmoil, battling systemic racism and other forms of discrimination and hatred, it’s important to remember how we, as individuals, can contribute with our own voices and actions to a better future.
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