Why is it that Rob Ford has been able to demonstrate a consistent lapse in judgment for several years, engage in illegal activity, socialize with known criminals, behave unprofessionally, speak untruths, rant homophobic sentiments, and explain away his behaviours as drunken stupors, to mention only a few, and actually gain in popularity, sympathy, and compassion [Letters, November 7-14]? Why is it that when Svend Robinson demonstrated just one lone lapse in judgment following a lifetime of upstanding, honourable conduct that he was crucified by so many in the public and media?
The political pundits and citizens claim Ford is every man, an average Canadian, deserving of our compassion, he should get help, and that he has done well by Toronto. Robinson also did well by Canadians, and others in the larger world, but he lost support, and got scorn.
Does that mean Robinson is a Canadian anomaly in being upstanding and honourable, always championing the underdogs in the world? If Ford represents the average Canadian, what does that say about who we are and what we model for our children? If we crucified Robinson for one error in a life of service to Canadians, then what are we teaching the next generation about what it means to be a Canadian?
Our current right-wing economic, social, and political policies and climates have facilitated a dramatic increase in national angst, and risky personal coping mechanisms. And, perhaps, that is why more people are able to relate to Ford at this time.
I fully support Ford in seeking help to resolve his very serious issues, just as Robinson has already done. I would discard either for having personal issues only if I were flawless. I think we need to look deeply into ourselves to see why we are treating Ford and Robinson so differently. My guess is that collective homophobia might be at play.
> Pummy Kaur / Director, Global Education Center