Monday, July 7, 2014

They make me sad

Doug Ford, a city councillor in Toronto and the brother of the world infamous Rob Ford, talked recently about his understanding of racism.  He thinks that people are very racist against Rob Ford because reporters and other random folks spend so much time criticizing Rob Ford.  Quote:

"Racism isn't just about religion and colour and race.  It's about going after someone relentlessly on a daily basis."

The fact that the word Racism has a root word Race seems to have somehow escaped Doug.  Also:

"You can be racist against people that eat little red apples, you can be racist against people that have a drinking problem, you can be racist against people that are too fat."  

Doug is of course correct that you can be racist against people who eat little red apples, providing of course that they are people who are marginalized because of their race and you are oppressing them based on race, rather than the apples that they eat.

People talk about how awful everyone acts on the internet and how people end up in echo chambers reinforcing foolish, destructive, or evil beliefs, but what this ignores is that there are plenty of people doing the exact same thing in real life.  Somehow Doug Ford has convinced himself that despite the fact that he and his brother are rich, straight, cis, white dudes with substantial political clout that they are oppressed.  After all, when you are mayor of a major city and random people yell at you sometimes your life is pretty hard, right?

The Fords clearly have a thing going on where they stand around commiserating with one another on the hardships of having people be angry at their bad behaviour and poor decisions and then assume that this is as bad as anyone has it.  Obviously their feelings are very much hurt by all this disapproval and since that disapproval feels *very bad* then the Fords understand just how rough life can be.  Clearly all this bigotry and racism that people talk about must be what they are experiencing since those things are really bad and the Fords feel very put upon.

Humabababella thinks that Rob Ford winning the mayoral race wouldn't be a bad thing so long as he gets sidelined and ignored.  I don't entirely agree.  Ford being a political power in Toronto is constantly reinforcing the idea that his behaviour is supported by the majority.  Sadly that isn't as far from the truth as I would like but the symbolic power of him being soundly defeated is important.  I agree that the best possible case if Ford does win again is that he drinks and smokes himself into a blinding stupor every single day so nobody listens to him but I feel like a resounding defeat of this odious man would be a good thing.  It might illustrate that even someone with an incredible amount of mass appeal can be defeated by being enough of an asshole.


  1. In my defense, I think that Toronto might actually be better off today for having Rob Ford rather than George Smitherman at the helm, but I definitely prefer Chow and Tory, especially now that: 1) Rob Ford is "sober"; and 2) I've been starkly reminded that Rob means Doug.

    Anyway, recent polls suggest that the Fords managed to squelch any comeback-kid-ness they had in their first week back.

  2. Yeah, Doug is pretty awful, just as awful really. He is just lower profile so generates less of a media circus. Whether or not Rob Ford who didn't manage to do much and got sidelined is better than Smitherman is an interesting question. It was certainly worse for Toronto's reputation but possibly not much different for the city itself.