BURNABY (NEWS1130) – Racist graffiti at Burnaby’s Central Park just metres away from a children’s playground and water park is disturbing families. The hate messages are found inside a men’s washroom near the Kingsway entrance. It includes swastikas and racial slurs scrawled all over the stalls walls and are targeting Chinese, Russian and blacks.
Rupe was at the popular park with his family and had to explain to his young son why someone would write such a thing. “He just read some too, it’s sad, it’s disappointing and hopefully they’ll paint over it and maybe keep vigilant on what they can do about it. It’s unfortunate, it upsets you a little bit and you just tell him [my son] that it’s just stupid, ignorant people.”
Joe says the hurtful tags have been there for at least a month. “The first time I saw it I didn’t like it, and I still don’t like it. I was deeply surprised that something like that would happen. I’ve lived in this country for 42 years and that is not supposed to be written down.”
Some park users say the graffiti is “disgusting” and “disturbing” to read especially in a multi-cultural place like Metro Vancouver. “It’s very disrespectful especially in a country like this that accepts all types of culture. So when you see something like that it’s a bit disappointing but at the same time I don’t generalize, I’m sure it’s just some people vandalizing… trying to make them feel big,” says Aiden, another park user.
“I don’t think it’s an unsafe area, kids are having fun and I’ll keep bringing my kids here. I don’t think it’s something that is dangerous in the community,” he adds.
The Burnaby Parks Commission code of conduct says there’s zero tolerance for behaviour that promotes discrimination, racism and hatred. The Burnaby RCMP’s Graffiti section is investigating and police say early indication suggests the messaging is dated.