Horrified Paulsgrove mum finds 'uncomfortable' racist graffiti while on trip with family to play park
‘UNCOMFORTABLE’ racist graffiti was spotted by a mum from Paulgrove who was going to a play park with her family.
Jodie Patton saw the hate speech plastered across an arch on Monday, just off Allaway Avenue.
She was with her 14-month-old baby, Pablo Mota, and his sister, Antante Shonemota, 13, and said the child made a comment which left her speechless.
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Ms Patton told The News: ‘She pointed it out to me with an air of humour, saying “oh, I guess me and Pablo can’t go down this slide”.
‘She said it humorously, in a defensive way. I looked at her and didn’t know what to say.
‘If I’m uncomfortable seeing this message as a white person, I can only fathom how she feels.
‘I looked at the baby, thought of how grateful I was that he couldn’t read yet.
‘That was quickly overshadowed by the fact that I can only shield him from things like that for a very small amount of time.’
Ms Patton added that she was no stranger to racism, having encountered abuse throughout her life.
She posted the picture on Facebook in order to push it to the right authorities, and said another resident saw a similar message at a park in Lime Grove this week.
Ms Patton said she was disappointed, but not surprised, by the vile racism, and thinks education is the only solution.
‘You can wash it it off or paint over it, but unless the right education is being provided to children – who may be getting outdated views from their parents - nothing is going to change,’ she added.
‘Unless they’re taught differently, and education in Paulsgrove is made about minorities and the adversities they might face, nothing will chance.’
The sick slur was reported to Councillor George Madgwick, of Paulsgrove ward, the same day and it was promptly removed.
‘It is disgusting and has no place in our community,’ Cllr Madgwick told The News.
‘The people who did this should be nothing short of ashamed of themselves.’
Mr Madgwick said it is the fourth incident he has been aware of this month, but has not heard of similar reports before this.
He plans to speak to the crime and safety team at the council next week to organise more spot checks of the track where the hate speech is being found.
There are also plans for the councillor to speak to deputy crime commissioner, Terry Norton.
He said it is to take a proactive approach to find and remove them as quickly as possible.
Mr Madgwick said, from Portsmouth City Council’s initial investigation, the racist messages are being written by the same group, of a young demographic.
‘It is very alarming that this is not an isolated incident,’ Mr Madgwick said.
‘It is a criminal offence, and we have reported this to the police
‘From our initial findings, it was from the same group of people.
‘Fingers crossed something can be done about this. We want to stamp this out.’