Sent to me this morn, and now I send it to you. Apologies for the length, but the erroneous Globe report has me wanting to ensure some of you read it. Full post here.
Now, back the beach! (And, into the breach.)
I begin this already doubting its relevance to the wider general public. Which may ultimately be the point of it, I guess. Although, why bother then, you could ask.
Earlier this week a whole lot of dust was kicked up when noted political thingie and Olivia Chow campaign volunteer whatsit, Warren Kinsella, referred to mayoral rival John Tory’s Smart Track transit plan as ‘Segregationist Track’ in a tweet. Outrage ensued. How Dare Hes abounded. Demands for an apology were issued.
The offending tweet was deleted. Kinsella apologized, put up a Gone Fishin’ sign, and went silent. The Chow team put some distance between itself and Kinsella, the volunteer. New news broke. People moved on. The earth kept spinning.
Honestly. Did you hear about any of this?
If not, maybe the actual intent of the tweet is still at work.
During the initial fury, amidst the calls of misappropriation of the word and the accusations of ugly intimations of racism contained in the tweet aimed at John Tory, Siri Agrell, a communications strategist, consultant and a David Soknacki (another mayoral candidate) fan, dropped this into the debate:
“If intent is to plant a counter-narrative that Tory is racist, is getting everyone in the media to report tweet really a strategic stumble?”
Essentially, have someone who gives you plausible deniability take the hit for a contentious public statement and when the heat cools, the heat always cools especially in a 10 month long election campaign, what’s left behind, the residue if you will, is the question of why anyone would want to make you think John Tory is a racist.
Arguably, Kinsella’s choice of words was inappropriate. Arguably, he should’ve apologized quicker and louder. Pull the pin. Detonate the grenade. Brush the smoke smudge from your face. Ooops. Sorry. Step back from the damage.
A couple days on now and all that really lingers, if anything is lingering from the incident at all, is that question. Why would anyone suggest that John Tory is a racist? ‘Segregationist Track’? What’s that even mean?
And then the explanation.
Take a look at Tory’s Smart Track map. That dark blue void of nothingness, up in the left hand corner, where a bright red line should be, representing the Finch West LRT and new rapid transit options for the residents of northwestern Toronto. A part of the city home to many of the city’s non-John Tory phenotypes, let’s say. New Canadians hailing from non-white countries around the globe. People representing places that give us bragging rights to our official municipal motto, Diversity, Our Strength.
How come John Tory isn’t prioritizing their transit needs? Why is he ignoring a fully funded by the province piece of vital transit infrastructure in their neighbourhoods? Does John Tory not care about visible minorities?
Don’t be ridiculous. I mean, seriously. Just stop… being ridiculous. John Tory isn’t a racist. Some of his best—Don’t be ridiculous.
OK, fine. Then why has John Tory’s Smart Track plan wiped the Finch West LRT off the transit map? Can he explain that for us?
There you have it. This thing that began as a question of Olivia Chow’s character judgement about those who are working on her campaign, even peripherally, becomes more a question of John Tory’s priorities and who he’s actually looking out for. Who exactly is part of John Tory’s vision of the city?