Woman's defiant gesture of unity after swastika was plastered on her home

14 June 2020, 14:23 | Updated: 14 June 2020, 14:40

By Seán Hickey

A woman who had a swastika daubed on her home on Saturday called for her community to create a work of art together to cover it.

Margaret Ogunbanwo is from Gwynedd, North Wales and her house had been painted with a swastika overnight as some far-right groups took to the streets in the UK on Saturday.

"It must have been horrific to wake up and see" Maajid quizzed. Ms Ogunbanwo told him that she "checked all the other homes and there was nothing on any of the other homes and we are the only blacks in the village, so I thought it must have been that."

She shared her surprise when she found out that there may have been racist ideologies involved in the vandalism, telling Maajid that she "thought we got past this."

Surprisingly, the exotic food shop owner told Maajid that "I just wanted to keep it there because it makes me feel uncomfortable and I wanted everyone to share in my discomfort."

Margaret was victim of targeted vandalism following some far-right protesters taking to the streets on Saturday
Margaret was victim of targeted vandalism following some far-right protesters taking to the streets on Saturday. Picture: Facebook: Margaret Ogunbanwo

Ms Ogunbanwo went on to tell Maajid that she had come round to an idea from the council to allow the community to paint a mural over the atrocity.

"Whoever wants to come as a community effort, they should." She told Maajid that the plan is to create "something that reminds us in the village that something has happened here" and to stand as a reminder that racism exists in the community and must be addressed.

Maajid commended Ms Ogunbanwo for thinking about the best way "to replace this symbol of hate," adding that "it's a great idea for you to maybe turn this into a moment that celebrates love and unity and diversity rather than this divisive symbol."

You can listen to Maajid Nawaz's whole conversation with Margaret Ogunbanwo above.

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