Campaign excludes inclusion

Campaign excludes inclusion The Yukon News has incorrectly captioned the photo of Glenn Hart posing as a painter, painting his "social consciousness" signs all over the sidewalks of Whitehorse. It read, "Minister of Health and Social Services Glenn Hart

The Yukon News has incorrectly captioned the photo of Glenn Hart posing as a painter, painting his “social consciousness” signs all over the sidewalks of Whitehorse.

It read, “Minister of Health and Social Services Glenn Hart paints a message of inclusion on the sidewalks….”

“You do not belong here” is not a message of inclusion.

It is a message about exclusion.

It is a message that leaves the reader unwelcome.

What are the tourists thinking Ð those who haven’t read the paper’s explanation of this message (and, Hart, your signage definitely requires explanation!)?

If feeling unwelcome and excluded is Hart’s intent, then he has succeeded.

I felt like I didn’t belong. Thanks Ð it really increased my awareness of an already blatantly obvious experience of far too many, and not just in Whitehorse.

Social exclusion has been rampant through time and geography, and it is always linked with poverty.

His message irritated me. The messages in Hart’s signage are negative, angry and juvenile and promoted a negative, angry and juvenile response toward the author.

I just wanted to go buy a bunch of cans of spray paint and spray over them all. Who would be so negative to write that?

People are aware of social exclusion, but they do not understand it.

Your message did nothing to increase awareness of the sadness in some people’s lives.

It did nothing to motivate others to be part of growing a healthy social community.

If you were lucky enough to see it on the front page of the Yukon News, then there was, at least, some understanding of your intent.

Still, even after reading the intent, I am stunned that you were not aware of how to “grow health.”

As minister, I would hope you have a positive, healthy focus.

From what I see on the sidewalks, I see you are negative and anger-based, and anger is not good fertilizer for growing health: it actually makes you sicker.

Promoting the growth of health, by building on the ability to grow as a society, would have reaped far greater results.

Signage that read “inclusion is possible” and “we all belong here” would have got people thinking, ‘Yes, it is possible’ and ‘Yes, I do belong, and so do you, and you, and you.’ It would have got people thinking about the issue.

“I” would become “we.”

Social health would grow.

Your signage left a sour taste in my mouth and it felt so uncomfortable that I wrote this letter.

Your signage just pissed people off.

And you are the Minister of Health and Social Services?

Holly Wilson

Whitehorse