Gwynedd community rallies around black family after house defaced with swastika

Margaret Ogunbanwo’s Facebook post. Picture by Margaret Ogunbanwo and Facebook.

A community in Gwynedd has rallied around a black family after their house was defaced with a swastika.

Margaret Ogunbanwo posted a picture of the symbol of her home in Pen-y-Groes near Caernarfon with the Nazi symbol painted on a garage door. She has since called the police.

“So friends and family, it’s usually pictures of my morning walks, but this is what confronted me on my house this morning!” she said. “What’s to be said?”

Margaret Ogunbanwo opened a café at the former Red Lion pub in Penygroes and uses the kitchen as a production hub for her own sauces and spices under the brand Maggie’s Exotic Foods. The family have lived in Penygroes for 13 years.

Arfon MP Hywel Williams said that the racist graffiti was “appalling”.

“Whoever did this will learn pretty quick that a tolerant society is far stronger that the divided mayhem they crave,” he said. “Solidarity with the family and I echo condemnation from within the local community.”

Senedd Member Siân Gwenllian said she condemned the “racist act”.

“I stand shoulder to shoulder with Margaret and her family,” she said.

 

‘Shameful’

Two hours after Margaret Ogunbanwo drew attention the graffiti over 200 people had posted supportive messages backing the family.

“Maggie, you and your wonderful family have our love, our tears, our solidarity and our voices,” Gwenlli Haf Evans said. “And our incandescent rage at this vile, hateful act.”

“This is truly disturbing. Everyone knows about the richness this family have brought to the area and their commitment to the language and the local culture,” Rhys Llwyd said. “We stand with Margaret, Femi and the family.”.

“Maggie, cant believe this is happening,” Gilly Brown said. “You are such a lovely caring person and your family have done so much for the local community. I am 100% behind you. Hope the culprits are found, shamed and educated.

“I’m so terribly sorry to see this,” Catrin Lliar Jones said. “They’re disgusting, stupid, amoral people and a minority in our community. We’re thinking about you.”

“Please remember that a lot of people love you in Penygroes and it’s only the ignorant that hate like this,” Ruth Myfanwy said.

“I’m so sorry that this has happened to you out of everyone as you have done so much for the area and the Welsh language.

“I hope the community puts its arms around you and love wins over hate.”

“This is disgusting and shameful,” Carys Bowen said. “I’m so sorry this has happened to you and your family. There is a great deal of respect for you in the area and a lot of support. Best wishes to you.”

Gwynedd Plaid Cymru county councillor Craig ab Iago said: “This is disgusting. Maggie and her kids are an integral part of Dyffyrn Nantlle. The family speak Welsh and they are as much a part of our community as anyone. Maggie set up a business here, her children went to school here.

“This appalling racist attack outside her home shows why The Black Lives Matter campaign is necessary. Racism is an issue not just in Minneapolis or London but here in Penygroes, Llanllyfni and Caernarfon, across Wales.

“Being on the receiving end of bigotry is something we know all about here in Wales which is why we must stand in solidarity with Maggie and the wilder BLM campaign. Their fight is our fight.”

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