London

Black man finds ally after Black Lives Matter sign defaced in London

A Black man is thankful to have found a white ally who stood up for the community after a Black Lives Matter poster was defaced at Victoria Park. 

Jordan Lindo has experienced racism in London. What surprised him Sunday, was the 'courage' of a bystander

This sign, with an X through the middle, was found in Victoria Park Sunday, one day after 10,000 Londoners marched to end racism. (Submitted by Jordan Lindo)

A Black man from London, Ont. is thankful to have found a white ally who stood up for the community after a Black Lives Matter poster was defaced at Victoria Park. 

On Sunday night, just a day after 10,000 Londoners took the streets to peacefully protest against racism, Jordan Lindo was out for a walk near the park's entrance when he heard a loud commotion. 

Lindo saw a white man on his bike yelling at a white couple and saying they were being racist for defacing a Black Lives Matter poster left over from the rally. Lindo walked over and started recording on his phone. 

When the couple walked by Lindo, the man told his partner "There's a lot of animals out here," Lindo's video shows. 

Confused by the remark, Lindo asks them why they defaced the sign, to which the man turned and said "it's public property."

Jordan Lindo was one of thousands of Londoners who gathered at Victoria Park for Saturday's anti-black racism protest. (Submitted by Jordan Lindo)

CBC is not releasing the video, as the couple in it has not been contacted for comment.

The couple being taped by Lindo also did not directly confirm or deny that they were responsible for defacing the sign.

When Lindo asked what he would see on the sign, the man told him to go back and check. 

What he found when he returned to the park was an X spray painted over the Black Lives Matter placard. Lindo says he wasn't surprised, having experienced racism in London over the course of his 15 years in the city. 

"A lot of people are naive to the fact that racism is in our backyard and just because you don't see it or you're not being affected by it, that doesn't mean it's not happening."

"There are still people, right after a 10,000 person rally, who aren't supporting this cause," he said.

"I'm not going to let emotion hit me ... because I know it's not everybody in the world, just people who have different values." 

Grateful to have found an ally

Despite the display of hatred, by whomever defaced the Black Lives Matter sign, Lindo said something positive came out of the incident.

For the first time, Lindo said he witnessed someone who wasn't Black blatantly and fearlessly calling out racism. 

"He was literally just riding his bike and he started shrieking unbelievably loud throughout the park [when he saw what was happening to the sign].

"If it wasn't for this gentleman, nobody would know what happened and I really commend him," he said. 

The death of George Floyd, a Black man who was killed in the U.S. by a white police officer, has sparked protests across the U.S. and Canada as people condemn the police's continued mistreatment of Black people and demand an end to systematic racism. (Sofia Rodriguez/CBC)

While he doesn't know who the man is, Lindo said he's thankful he and the Black community had an ally that night at Victoria Park.

He expects that after London's anti-black racism rally, more allyship will be seen across the city. 

"I think [the rally] opened up the eyes in London and definitely people who were afraid to stand behind their Black friend, they're not as afraid no more."

As for the defaced sign, Lindo said he left it at the park, untouched, because despite the allies, there's still racism that needs to be addressed in the city. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sofia Rodriguez

Reporter/Editor

Sofia Rodriguez is a multimedia journalist with CBC News in London. You can email her at sofia.rodriguez@cbc.ca

now