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Parkdale United hate graffiti

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This morning, many will have seen news (Le Droit and the Sun) of the hate crime perpetrated against the Parkdale United Church last week. Racist graffiti was scrawled across the building: "nigger" and a reference to Tupac that is sometimes used as a veiled threat of violence.

I am grateful that congregation leader Rev. Dr. Anthony Bailey has chosen to speak out about the incident. Racism is systemic in our society and city. Poverty, ignorance and injustice are at its roots. When we don't address it, in public and out loud, we perpetuate it.

Last Sunday, I joined the congregation in worship, celebrating the life and contribution of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King. The church was full to bursting with participants in solidarity, joined on this occasion by the Right Rev. Jordan Cantwell, Moderator of the United Church of Canada who brought a message of solidarity from the Church leadership.

Rev. Bailey dellivered a powerful statement on this hate crime, challenging all of us not to be silenced. The thunderous applause and tears made manifest the support in this community's hearts against such hate, and commitment to fighting it with love. When Rev. Bailey told us, "I will reserve not one iota of hate in my heart for these perpetrators," he reminded us in the most powerful way of our duty to seek equality and justice for everyone.

This weekend, both Mayor Watson and I offered every assistance possible to Parkdale United, our commitment to help Chief Bordeleau in any way necessary with the investigation, as well as our expressions of disgust with this hateful crime. 

If you have information that might help police, please call them at 613.236.1222.

Posted January 19, 2016