In the latest adventures of the Ford brothers, Doug has been accused of being anti-Semitic. His defence? He has a Jewish accountant.
During a debate hosted by the UJA Federation of Greater Toronto and the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, mayoral candidate Ari Goldkind asked Doug about an anti-Semitic slur Rob had previously used. Doug was quick to call Rob’s comment “unacceptable.”
Good for you Doug! We’re proud of you for condemning your brother’s racist words. Now if you could just stop talking and move on to a different subject before you accidentally say something racist, that would be great. But this is Doug Ford we’re talking about. He has a duty to carry out the ancient Ford family tradition of publically saying offensive things. So, unfortunately, he did not stop talking.
“You know something? My doctor — my Jewish doctor, my Jewish dentist, my Jewish lawyer — Hold on, my Jewish accountant,” Doug said, to clearly prove that he has “the utmost respect for the Jewish community.” He didn’t finish his sentence, since he was drowned out by the boos and jeers of the 600+ (mostly Jewish) people in the audience.
Let’s take a moment to appreciate the racist beauty of that statement. There was a moment before Doug got to listing “his Jewish accountant” where he paused, as though contemplating whether citing the Jewish individual who manages his money is the best thing to say when explaining that he’s not anti-Semitic. And yet he says it anyway because that’s just the Ford family way.
Yet what Doug doesn’t seem to get is that everything he said before is equally racist, and shows how far he is from acceptance and understanding of the religious minority. Candidate John Tory perhaps said it best, calling Ford’s comments, “the classic refuge of racists, anti-Semites and homophobes: But I have lots of [insert minority group] friends.” Doug didn’t even go as far as to say he had Jewish friends, unless he’s had a few meaningful conversations while his dentist was scraping plaque off his teeth with that mini fish-hook torture device thing.
Doug’s response to Tory’s statement was inspired by the comebacks of elementary school children on playgrounds everywhere: “I’m not a racist, you are.” Yes, Doug’s understanding of racism is akin to that of a 9 year old. At a debate at Centennial College in Scarborough on Monday, he accused Mr. Tory of calling him “trash” and asked, “is that not a racist comment if you call them trash?” Uh no, actually it’s not. Insulting yes, racist, no. Unless there is some new stereotype about white people and garbage that we haven’t heard of yet, it’s not racist.
Still, Ford couldn’t stop there. He had to keep on digging his grave of anti-Semitism.
When asked if he was stereotyping the Jewish community, Ford responded, “not at all. The Ford family has an extensive relationship, a great relationship, with the Jewish community. As a matter of fact, my wife is Jewish. Her mother is Jewish. And they have to come after me? You’ve got to be joking.” Well we’re happy you’ve graduated from “I love the Jewish community. The people who handle my money, teeth, and testicles are all Jewish” to “I’m married to a Jewish woman,” but you still don’t seem to get it.
Knowing people who identify with a certain minority does not mean you understand their unique struggles. If you want to be mayor of one of the most diverse cities in the world, you need to make an effort to understand its patchwork of ethnicities, religions, and orientations. Otherwise, how can you ever hope to successfully lead the people of Toronto?