I came across a seriously disturbing Facebook meme yesterday. Pictured above, a disturbed individual made a play on words with the Rob Ford campaign’s “Ford More Years” slogan- crossing out the word Ford, and replacing it to say “Tumor Years”. Most reasonable Canadians would find this message distasteful- people in our country have a reputation for being friendly, kind and compassionate. Yet, somehow, people were sharing this hateful picture about a man who was facing a potentially (now confirmed) life threatening disease.
I appreciated much of Rob Ford’s platform, and experienced first hand how he quickly responds to people’s calls for assistance. Though I was equally dismayed watching him lying to us about his addiction problem- too many bad things have occurred for me to consider supporting his campaign. But, as I would with anyone fighting a serious illness (including Harsha Walia during her battle earlier this year), my heart goes out to Rob and his family during this challenging moment in their lives.
I’d have ignored if it was an isolated incident, but I watched so many ugly attacks over the past week that I felt compelled to speak out. I figured posting my criticism on Twitter would be a no-brainer, who wouldn’t be horrified by the sheer nastiness of this message? Many people understood, some expressed dismay, others simply re-tweeted. But just as my faith in human goodness was being recharged, an unsavoury man responded with a lesson about the malicious depravity we see way too often from people in today’s union movement.