A letter to the person(s) who painted graffiti of Swastikas on the Cedarvale Bridge in Toronto, Ontario, October 14, 2014.

Yesterday I was walking my beautiful Bernese Mountain Dog, Liberty, across one of my favourite places in Toronto, the Cedarvale Bridge. I always try to slow my steps over the bridge so I can embrace one of nature’s sanctuaries where everyone is free to meditate, to breathe, to heal, to ponder and to dream. It is an open expansive space where everything seems possible.

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Yesterday, I had a different view. There were Swastikas marked on several of the posts and suddenly my boundless view was restricted by hate, fear, aggression and total disrespect for this beautiful space and the people who live here.

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I address this letter to you, the Swastika maker. Who are you? Why would you do this? Do you know this Bridge turned 100 years old recently? Do you realize it is a pillar of beauty, of support, of vision, of connecting people from one space to another. It has history. It has survived the war where this symbol became the poster image of anti-semitism, destruction of all people, all beliefs and all practices that weren’t Aryan.

So, Swastika maker, what is your real message? Do you want to spread fear, intimidation and hate? Why? Why do you stand for these things? What happened to you? What do you think gives you the right to tarnish this space for the people who travel across it? I cannot find the origin for this quote but I heard it long ago “I never met a bigot who liked himself.”

All you have told us Swastika maker, is that you are deeply troubled and burdened by hate. We will wipe away your crime and restore this bridge from your intrusion but I know you will be back another night while we sleep soundly down the road as you try once again to spread your anger and make your point. All you really tell us is more about you and what makes you tick. I am sad for you Swastika maker and I know there are many of you, more than I want to imagine but I am sad for you all as I don’t believe you noticed the view from our beautiful bridge.

 

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