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Pointe Claire, Que., residents furious about anti-Black graffiti: ‘I’ve never seen it like this’

Click to play video: 'Grassroots movement aims to have “Black Lives Matter” light up Pointe-Claire billboard' Grassroots movement aims to have “Black Lives Matter” light up Pointe-Claire billboard
WATCH: Pointe Claire, Que., residents furious about anti-Black graffiti – Jun 8, 2020

Pointe Claire resident Allison Saunders broke down in tears at graffiti painted on a sea container in a parking lot at the behind the Complexe Pointe Claire on Monday.

It was the “N-word,” a derogatory expression used against Blacks, spray-painted in red beside an image of a four-legged creature and drawings of male genitalia.

“I’ve never seen it like this,” fumed the Pointe Claire native.

“I’m offended and I’m hurt and [they] came into my home.”

The graffiti also drew the ire of Kemba Mitchell, head of the West Island Black Community Association (WIBCA), who said it reminded her of the racism she experienced as a child.

“When I was first made aware of [the graffiti],” she told Global News, “it was the first time during this whole during the last three weeks that I broke down.”
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Mitchell said since the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25, members of Black communities have been pushing to make others more aware of racism.  But according to her, no matter what they do, nothing changes.

READ MORE: Thousands attend anti racism, anti police brutality march in downtown Montreal

“It’s hate,” she insisted.

Saunders wants more leadership from her elected officials. During a virtual town hall meeting Sunday night hosted by WIBCA, Pointe Claire Mayor John Belvedere was asked if city officials were planning to address the racism issue publicly.

“I think it’s time to take this situation serious,” the mayor said said during the Zoom meeting.

“We want to help get this situation (moving) forward and we want to help finance it.  It seems money is unfortunately at the root of the problem.”

Saunders was furious at Belvedere’s answers and wants he and his administration to do more.

“I have a problem when my leadership doesn’t speak out and say that that stuff isn’t OK in my town,” she said pointing to the graffiti.

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READ MORE: Montrealers kneel at Loyola Park in NDG in solidarity with anti-Black racism protests

Residents started an online petition to replace the “ça va bien aller” COVID-19 message on an electronic billboard in front of city hall with the words “Black lives matter.”  Resident Kevin Wilson likes the idea.

“Putting it up is an acknowledgement by my mayor, my city, my people saying, ‘you know what, there is a problem.’

Saunders agrees, and believes it will happen eventually. But she’s annoyed.

“When it happens it’s going to be because they were shamed into making it happen,” she declared.

Global News reached out to the city but has not heard back yet.

Click to play video: 'Fighting for Black lives in Montreal and beyond' Fighting for Black lives in Montreal and beyond
Fighting for Black lives in Montreal and beyond – Jun 8, 2020

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