Sunday, July 03, 2011

Bandwagons



Some people say Toronto mayor Rob Ford should be at the Pride Parade in Toronto today instead of enjoying family time at his cottage. Ford insists that this isn't a slight on the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgendered community. It's just family tradition going back to his childhood.


The reaction to his announcement two weeks ago was swift and severe. There was criticism on the front page of the Globe and Mail and a discussion on CBC radio. Some members of the GLBT community (is in incorrect to call such a varied group of people a community?) claimed that they didn't want him there anyway. It was pointed out that every mayor since Barbara Hall has been part of the parade. I guess that means all Toronto mayors until the end of time must participate.


I confess that I found the indignation rather overdone. I don't like Mayor Ford very much, but if he had decided to blow off the Serbian Canadian parade for the cottage some weekend would there have been much of a furor? Does every mayor join the Labour Day parade or they off enjoying a long weekend like most mortals?


I realize that some conservative Christians are cheering his decision as heroic, but I'm not with them. This isn't a religious issue, even if the parade will be "church" for a lot of people today. Maybe Ford is mean spirited -- I wouldn't put it past hime. Maybe that's his choice. I just wonder when we will calm down as a society on circumstances like this. I figure that parades are for people who want to join the party, not those who are forced onto the bandwagon.


Thoughts?

4 comments:

Laurie said...

Mayor Ford (yuk) should be at the parade! He signed on for public office, and he should be supporting his city. Pride week brings in a lot of money for Toronto. Just my thoughts.

johnny said...

I think the reaction has been way overblown. Would people rather he attend the parade, with his ONLY reason being the optics of his attendance?

Not being a huge fan of Ford either, at least he is not fretting about consequences of his actions. For a politician, I find that somewhat refreshing.

IanD said...

I disagree.

The reaction is to be expected, given that we're dealing with a large segment of the society that continues to work hard for equity on many, many levels. The mayor's slight can only be interpreted as a refusal to recognize that community (whether he meant it to be that, or not.)

You don't have to like their way of life, but they're entitled to the same peace of mind and sense of tolerance that the rest of us are. Achieving that is what this is about. And, if you're the mayor of Toronto? You signed up for this, buddy ... like it or not.

Can you imagine if Mayor Ford skipped out on Caribanna? What would the reaction from that distinct community be?

If you're Mayor of the most racially diverse city in the world, you need to think about your decisions and their symbolism.

Finally, the really troubling issue here is what the mayor's refusal to attend will mean for members of the public who will interpret it as a green light for intolerance.

(See: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/toronto/marcus-gee/toronto-mayors-snub-of-pride-week-gives-bigots-cover-to-spew-their-bile/article2080989/)

sjd said...

I'm with Ford on this one. It's not his parade, so why should he go. Why should any of us care??
Good for us that we are in a free country, and people are free to choose what they participate in.

FYI Carabana is on the chopping block. Cost to the city has out weighed the benefit most years, and that is what Ford is all about, and he doesn't care what it looks like. His formula is Cost/benefit. $$$$$$$$$$$$

Too many political decisions are made based on what "it" looks like instead of what "it" really is. That's how prayer has been pushed out of schools, because it looks like one religion is favored over others. When really we used to pray in school because the majority of our ancestors that founded this country were of Christian faith, and were thankful.