Superheroes may not be “real,” but Corey Fleischer has found a way to fight crime in his everyday life. As the owner of Provincial Power Washing in Montreal, Canada, Fleischer washes away hateful vandalism for free.
His calling to this public service came when he saw a swastika painted near a traffic light on his way to a power-washing job. He left it there, but it stuck in his head. He couldn’t shake the image all afternoon, so he cut the job short and went back to wash the swastika away. That’s how his program “Erasing Hate” was born.
Corey and his company have organized the removal of hate-inspired vandalism all over the world, including in many parts of Canada, the U.S., Israel, Africa and Europe. He works with other organizations in order to raise awareness and execute the removal of the troubling messages.
One organization Corey works closely with is B’Nai Brith Canada, a Jewish human rights advocacy group. Amanda Hohmann, the national director of B’Nai Brith League for Human Rights, says, “when it’s an issue of vandalism my first call is to Corey, because he’s really become my go-to person. He’s very quick in getting it removed.”
People can report hate-inspired vandalism and other acts of aggression to B’Nai Brith Canada, which has branches in Toronto, Montreal, Winnipeg, Vancouver, Edmonton, and Calgary. If you aren’t in Canada, consider contacting Corey, who may be able to connect you to someone who will “erase the hate” in your area.
Occasionally, Corey dons a Batman mask to bring attention to the work he’s doing and to encourage others to report hateful vandalism or join him in removing it. “I decided to put on a Batman mask… and I started rolling around town removing swastikas and people started to pay attention a little bit more.”
Corey doesn’t claim to be a hero — he just plays one while cleaning up the streets, one hateful image at a time.