Doug Ford booed for reference to lawyer, accountant when addressing Rob's anti-Semitic slur
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Mayoral candidate Doug Ford tried to address Mayor Rob Ford’s anti-Semitic slur. He ended up digging a deeper hole.
Doug Ford participated Sunday in a debate sponsored by two Jewish organizations, the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs and UJA Federation of Greater Toronto, at the Community Hebrew Academy of Toronto in North York. Rob Ford was in attendance.
Longshot candidate Ari Goldkind, who is Jewish, told the crowd that Toronto cannot have a mayor who uses anti-Semitic slurs. Rob Ford was recorded the word ‘k- -e’ to describe Jews while apparently intoxicated in March. Doug Ford first attempted to avoid the issue, then listed various Jewish people in his life.
“You know something: my doctor, my Jewish doctor, my Jewish dentist, my Jewish lawyer” — the crowd erupted in loud boos and laughter — “my Jewish — hold it — accountant. We’ve learned, our family — can you please, please let me finish?”
The moderator urged the tittering crowd to let him finish.
“Our family has the utmost respect. Let me finish. Please? My family has the utmost respect for the Jewish community. The utmost respect. And we look forward to working with the Jewish community, as we have for the last four years.”
Goldkind told him, “I don’t want to hear about your lawyer, your doctor. I want you to say that what your brother said was inexcusable, and it doesn’t get washed under the rug.”
“I said to Rob, and Rob knows that, and he has apologized for those statements, I have told him very clearly that it was unacceptable, inexcusable,” Ford said.
Torstar News Service reported in May that Rob Ford used a string of slurs while intoxicated in March, including the anti-Semitic slur “k--e.” He said: “Nobody sticks up for people like I do, every f---ing k--e, n----r, f---ing w-p, d-go, whatever the race. Nobody does. I’m the most racist guy around. I’m the mayor of Toronto.”
Doug Ford has used sweeping generalizations to describe Jews in the past. Last year, he told the Toronto Sun, “They’re supportive, very supportive — they’re business people.” On Tuesday, he declared that the city’s Chinese residents are like him in that they are “very fiscally responsible” and want subways.
His rivals criticized his Sunday remarks.
“It’s stereotyping,” Olivia Chow told reporters after the debate. “You heard in the groan in the entire audience and I think this is to try to explain somehow — I don’t even know what he was trying to explain. I don’t find that helpful at all. Quite unacceptable.”
John Tory’s campaign issued a post-debate statement calling Ford’s words “shameful.”
“While attempting to defend Rob Ford’s inexcusable comments about Jewish people, Doug Ford used the classic refuge of racists, anti-Semites and homophobes: But I have lots of [insert minority group] friends!” the statement said.
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