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Richmond man helps beautify Chinatown monument

By Richmond Sentinel

Published 3:56 PDT, Tue June 23, 2020

Last Updated: 2:13 PDT, Wed May 12, 2021

When Benton Robertson learned that the stone lion at the Millennium Gate in Vancouver’s Chinatown had been the target of racially-motivated vandalism twice in the past month, he was taken aback. Then, he decided to step up and do something positive.

Following the lead of Lindsey Taylor, who initiated a movement among young people from different ethnic backgrounds to show their concern about the incidents and intolerance of racism, Richmond’s Robertson immediately recruited two friends to help decorate the monument. Robertson said he had many Chinese friends and couldn’t understand why anyone would carry out such vandalism.

To the vandals he implored: “Don’t do this.”

The young people used their own savings to purchase flowers to beautify the statue. And on June 18, the Chinese Benevolent Association of Canada wanted to say thank you with an offering of souvenirs as a token of gratitude. Association members (led by president Yao Chongying) added these young people showed through their actions a desire to help change social prejudice and discrimination, while encouraging others to follow suit.

“The actions of these young people show that Canadians will not tolerate this kind of racial discrimination, and sets a good example for society that we can combat social prejudices and discrimination through action,” Yao said. “No matter how small the act may seem, the effect it can have can be significant in the bettering of our society.”

Taylor, who works in the arts industry, said she believes everyone is equal.

“It hurts me that this happens,” she said.

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