An Ottawa family experienced a rude awakening last week. According to a report by the Ottawa Citizen, Dr. Xaviere Kuate and her family became the targets of racist graffiti in Ottawa last Saturday after their home, located on Merganser Street near the Aviation Parkway, was tagged with the N-word. The disturbing act of vandalism left the family in shock, who says they have never experienced anything like it in the 16 years that they have lived in the area.
Kuate and her husband first became aware of the graffiti after a concerned neighbour alerted them to it at 2:00 AM. The well-meaning resident then came back to the Kuate’s house with some cleaning supplies, and the two women tried to no avail to wipe off the spray-painted message. They eventually gave up, and Kuate went back to bed as she had to drive her 16-year-old son to Toronto the next day.
“To be honest, when I went back to bed at around 4 o’clock I had trouble sleeping too,” Kuate said according to the Ottawa Citizen. “I wondered if they were going to come back.”
Ottawa Police have yet to release any details about the case, saying that they could not disclose whether or not the investigation had been handed over to the hate crimes unit. A police officer came to the home Saturday morning and took photos of the damage.
Neighbours of the Kuate family have rallied by their side. The family says that have received bouquets of flowers and cards of support following the incident. Several others in the community have offered to clean and repaint the garage door.
The similar incident involving hate speech happened in the GTA last week. The Canada-Israel Friendship Association was first to share the disturbing news on their Facebook page. According to the post, anti-semitic graffiti was pained onto a garage in Vaughan, Ontario. The association explained that the threatening graffiti was reported by a resident yesterday.
The message spray painted on one side of the garage door read "watch urself" with a swastika and "we watch" on the other. The home belonged to a resident of Thornhill Woods in Vaughan, Ontario, which is a predominantly Jewish suburb of Toronto.