Posting of racist meme of local activist being investigated by Calgary Police

Click to play video: 'Calgary activist speaks out after racist meme with her image surfaces'
Calgary activist speaks out after racist meme with her image surfaces
WATCH : Calgary activist speaks out after racist meme with her image surfaces – Aug 11, 2020

A Calgary woman is speaking out after a photo of herself was turned into a racist meme.

Taylor McNallie said she was first alerted to the meme when a screenshot was posted on a Black Lives Matter Facebook page in mid-July.

The screen grab shows McNallie holding a white sign with the words “why do n****** have white palms [and] white on the bottom of their feet? Just to prove that there is a little good in everyone.”
“I saw [the picture] right away,” said McNallie. “People were tagging me in it and sending it to me.
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“It’s a shock, and it’s not at the same time, because it’s not the first time I have to deal with things like that.”

McNallie said she had posted different versions online herself before, changing the wording in different ways to support the anti-racism movement.

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She says the post appears to be have been posted by a board member of the CPS Rodeo Association, a group which is a separate entity from the CPS.

McNallie said the Rodeo Association has not reached out to her after bringing it to their attention three weeks ago.

“It’s a really awful situation given what was said,” McNallie added. “But in the grand scheme of things, this is a really small situation and the fact that they can’t even take care of this appropriately or properly says a lot on what else is being heard or what else is happening.”

Read more: Calgary company Righteous Gelato apologizes for, pulls Black Lives Matter product

Rodeo Association responds

In a statement to Global News, Mike Cavilla, the president of the Calgary Police Rodeo Association, said he became aware of the post in July.

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“The post in question was extremely racist and reprehensible and contradicts every value that the Rodeo Association stands for, including diversity and respect,” said Cavilla. “Once I was made aware of the social media post, immediate action was taken to initiate an investigation and determine the origin of the online post as well as its validity.”

Cavilla said he’s been told that a criminal investigation is ongoing, but that no members of the Association’s board were involved.

“The Calgary Police Rodeo Association unequivocally denies the allegation that a rodeo director was responsible for this racist social media post and have confidence that the police investigation will identify the person(s) responsible for this malicious act and hold them to account,” said Cavilla.

McNallie said even if the board member did not make the post, someone from the Association should have reached out to her.

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“I would have reached out to somebody and said I’m really sorry that this has happened. These are not my beliefs. Is there any way I can support you,” said McNallie.

Calgary Police investigation

In a statement to Global News, a CPS spokesperson reiterated that the Calgary Police Rodeo Association is a separate entity from CPS and that the service is not involved in running the organization or its social media account.

CPS said its Cybercrimes Team is investigating the allegation that a Facebook account created in the name of a board member of the CPS Rodeo Association posted a racist meme.

“The investigation is ongoing, however is expected to take some time to complete,” the statement read. “Cyber investigations are complex and can be lengthy as the collection of digital evidence from third parties, including social media sites and internet service providers, requires multiple production orders.”

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It goes on to say, “The CPS Rodeo Association reported the alleged fake account to police and the board member is not an employee of CPS. We absolutely condemn the messages posted to the account and are committed to determining the source of the posts.”

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McNallie hopes the investigation uncovers the person who created the post so that they can be held accountable.

“Even if it was not [the board director]… I would like to know who made this picture,” said McNaille. “Is it someone in the group? Is it a friend of mine who I need to watch out for? Right now, black people are really on our tippy toes with things because people are being more comfortable with their racism.”

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