N-word graffiti aimed at biracial Nova Scotia girl painted over by mom

Someone spray painted 'Maddi Lorde is a n--ger' at the Daniel Taylor Memorial Skate Park in Glace Bay.

Someone spray painted 'Maddi Lorde is a n--ger' at the Dan Taylor skate park, mom paints over it

Sue Sinclair covered the racial slur targeted at her daughter Tuesday. (Norma Jean MacPhee/CBC)

A splotch of black paint stands out amidst the layers of graffitti at the Daniel Taylor Memorial Skate Park in Glace Bay, N.S., where the phrase "Maddi Lorde is a n--ger" used to be.

Maddi Lorde is 13 and biracial. Her mother, Sue Sinclair, discovered the racist graffiti Tuesday.

"I'm still in shock, I don't know how to feel about it," said Sinclair. "This is a busy skate park, everybody has seen it."

Sinclair promptly bought paint and covered the slur herself. 

'Appalled, grossed out'

"I just really didn't think that [racism] existed that bad to put it with spray paint on concrete," said Sinclair. "It's wrong."

Maddi Lorde's mother said others at the skate park were appalled at the racist graffiti. (Norma Jean MacPhee/CBC)

Connor O'Brien Walsh, a friend of Lorde's, is often at the skate park.

"I don't think she deserved anything like that," he said. "She's very down to earth. I play basketball with her, she's right on."

'We're not going to forget'

O'Brien Walsh said he also knows who sprayed the racial slur. He said he doesn't hear the N-word used much while in school or at the skate park and hopes it won't become a common occurrence.

"We're not going to forget about it, but I think that no one else is going to do it," he said. "We're going to try to prevent that from happening again."

Sinclair is originally from Dominion and moved back there nine years ago from Halifax. She said this is the first time she's encountered anything like this.

Community supportive

"The support for my daughter, by the community and the kids that come here is overwhelming," said Sinclair. 

Dave Sawler, who works with the Undercurrent Youth Centre in Glace Bay, says the graffiti was unfortunate.

"It's actually one of Glace Bay's main places for young people to hang out," he said.

Sawler said he's at that skate park all the time and he doesn't witness a lot of racism. 

"When it does happen, it hurts a lot of people."

Racism 'not hidden' in Glace Bay

"This stuff should not be happening here, bottom line," said Sonya Headley, a black woman who lives in Glace Bay. "The guy who did it should not know that kind of hatred."

Headley said racism is alive and well in Glace Bay.

"Ask any biracial or black person who lives in Glace Bay. It's here. It's live, it's right here, it's not hidden," said Headley. "They're still using the N-word and people still think that it's OK, I guess."

'Education key'

Sinclair says although what's happened to her daughter is horrible, she wants the community and all those on social media to use this time to educate their children. 

"That is not the best word to use to describe anybody," said Sinclair. "Education is key, talk to your kids, explain to them how hurtful it can be. How it's not OK to use that word in 2016."

Police are investigating, but no charges have been laid.

About the Author

Norma Jean MacPhee

Reporter

From people around the corner to those around the world, Norma Jean MacPhee has more than a decade of experience telling their stories on the radio, TV and online. Reach Norma Jean at norma.jean.macphee@cbc.ca