Artist Turns Racist Graffiti Into An Amazingly Empowering Message

Artist Turns Racist Graffiti Into An Amazingly Empowering Message

Artist Turns Racist Graffiti Into An Amazingly Empowering Message

haters know GIF

 

Last week, the quiet district of Walthamstow in east London, which is now one of the most ethnically diverse areas in London, was hit by a string of very unpleasant, very racist messages which were graffitied on the homes throughout the town.

At least four messages of racist content have been reported by residents who horrifically woke up to find “SPEAK ENGLISH” spray painted onto their walls, fences or garage doors.

News travels fast these days, and soon the word of this vandalism traveled well beyond the streets of Walthamstow after the Local MP Stella Creasy posted about the incident on Facebook.

 

Creasy denounced the cowardly, disgusting act of vandalism on Facebook as hate speech and merely encouraged her constituents to instead celebrate their diversity by responding with a “big show of love”.

“Together we can drown out this little hate with a big show of love, and in doing so send a clear message that when you target one of us you get all of us standing up to fight back.”

And thankfully, one local artist seemed to take that message completely to heart.

With a touch of Photoshop magic, the Walthamstow resident, Chris Walker, managed to turn the hateful graffiti into something that wonderfully celebrated the area’s diversity.

Walker, who works as a digital designer and illustrator was himself born in Walthamstow and told Indy100 that for locals, multiculturalism has pretty much always been the backbone of the community.

“Whoever was responsible clearly has no idea where they are living, I was born in Walthamstow and have lived here on and off for 40 years, it has always been a vastly multicultural community and that’s what makes it so great.”

So when Walker noticed that the vandal had stupidly left a large amount of room around the graffiti he decided to “fill in the blanks” and create something that better fit the spirit of Walthamstow. And I got to tell you, it is truly beautiful.

Unsurprisingly, pretty soon his positive “re-vamp” of the graffiti went viral and of course, people from all over, praised his message of unity and love over hate.

The only problem with Walker’s recreation was that… well, he simply didn’t have enough room to include every language that is actually spoken in Walthamstow, and soon people were adding to the language list via Twitter.

Even after the response it got, Walker still wasn’t too sure that his post would really do much in contributing towards the fight against hate, however, he did hope that it would remind everyone that all people from all corners of the globe are welcome in Walthamstow. And if anything, in these times, I personally think that that is enough.

“I’m not sure my little protest can stop things like this happening, but the response to it has, I hoped, brought the community together in speaking out and served to reassure that this is a minority view and that everyone is welcome in E17 and always will be.”

Walker definitely got his wish in the end though, as soon community members were banding together in order to organize the planting of 6000 flowers in a local park as another “big show of love.”

You see folks? It doesn’t matter how small you think the gesture is, even the smallest stone can create the biggest ripple… especially when it comes to love and the fight against hate! A message we can all definitely get behind I’m sure.

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