The thing about crack…

I don’t know a whole lot about crack. For example, I don’t even know if crack and crack cocaine and cocaine are three different drugs, or a combination of two drugs, or what they do to a person, exactly. Regardless of what I don’t know about the drug(s), however, there are a few things I’m pretty sure I do know.

At the top of the list is the fact that I don’t think it makes people misogynistic. The way Rob Ford talks about women – his wife, his colleagues, his opponents – is hateful. It is not flippant or rude or off-side. It is full of hate. And yet, women will vote for him. They will accept the substance abuse as an excuse and they will vote for him, either because they are uninformed or because they have a vested financial interest in seeing him remain in power. This is incredible to me. The City of Toronto fired 3 firefighters over sexist tweets and Facebook posts last year and, yet, the man at the helm has spewn and propagated far worse to a much wider audience without consequence. Women of Toronto: If anyone, let alone a leader in your community, said this or this about you, your sister, your daughter, your mother or your best friend, would you honestly just laugh it off? Worse yet, would you reward him with an understanding shake of the head and all the power he could ever hope to hold? Rob Ford’s vile and sometimes criminal mistreatment of women has not been brought on by his addiction. It has simply been illuminated.

I also highly doubt that crack suddenly makes people homophobic. Based on Rob Ford’s consistency with respect to his boycott of the Pride parade in Toronto, I don’t believe that drugs are to blame for his homophobic remarks and slurs. I have a hard time imagining that he could emerge from rehab suddenly prepared to embrace the LGBT population of Toronto, figuratively speaking (and much less literally). While I also have a hard time imagining he will get support at the polls from many constituents in this particular demographic, a vote for Rob Ford is a vote for bigotry and it’s wild to me that this is even a debate in 2014. Some might remember when Isaiah Washington was fired from the popular TV show Grey’s Anatomy for making a homophobic slur on set, directed at a fellow cast member, in 2006. Just last night he made a brief return to the show. It took one homophobic slur to get him fired and seven years for him to be welcomed back. Based on the Rob Ford model, I guess it must have taken him that long to get all the drugs out of his system so he could get back to normal and stop being such a homophobe.

Crack doesn’t make people racist, either. LA Clippers owner-for-the-time-being Donald Sterling has had a rough week, given the recorded comments that were leaked to the public exposing him as someone who is happy to let black people make millions of dollars for him, but doesn’t want to have to hang out in the same gigantic arena as them. Again, it took one comment to get him banned for life from the NBA and fined $2.5 million dollars, and Rob Ford gets to hurl equally despicable comments at people he actually works with and then claim the drugs and/or booze made him do it. Lame. And so very gross.

He’s in rehab, we think. So that’s great. His addiction will be addressed and his health can enjoy a renaissance, or straight up birth depending on whether or not he’s ever been truly well. But the reality is that the mayor of Toronto, Rob Ford, is not a misogynistic, racist homophobe because of his substance abuse issues. He’s a misogynistic, racist homophobe and, also, he has substance abuse issues. They are not mutually dependent traits. Attempting to cure ignorance with sobriety would be like trying to fix a leaky tire with an ice cube.

Having said that, I do join the rest of the country in wishing for Rob Ford a serious and successful road to recovery as he confronts his demons and takes this very first step in the right direction. He does not deserve to be mayor, but he does deserve to be healthy.

For its part, however, Toronto just deserves better.

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Categories: rants/raves | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “The thing about crack…

  1. I love myself now

    I agree with you about voting, and lack off punishment for the mayor of Toronto. Substance abuse should not be allowed to by an excuse, and people in general should apply their vote wisely.
    BUT (and I mean this kindly)
    You are very very wrong about substance abuse, and wish that you would have used that term instead of crack and cocaine
    I can tell you from experience that substance abuse can alter your personality.
    First I would like to tell you that while I have not drank alcohol in over two years I have used ( and this may be hard for you to understand as it is most) other drugs wisely and on occasion.
    But I will never drink alcohol again. It does something to me, and when I had more than two or three I become carefree and selfish. But if anyone tried to tell me that – I would respond negatively. I lost a lot of friends and family, and honestly didn’t care. Even when I was “sober” I didn’t care.
    I finally made neigh mistakes while drink and lost enough people that two years ago I finally admitted to myself that I had a drinking problem.
    Not much changed with my personality for the first few months but a Half year went by and I noticed that I was staying home, I ws hanging out with a few close friends and I notice that I was accepting my faults and wanting to change.
    I can tell you I am very proud of the man I am now, and I always thought I was this man, but I wasn’t.
    I was a hurtful selfish jerk to put it nicely. Now I love myself but put the people who are important to me first.

    So maybe Rob Ford should never to crack, or maybe he should just stay completey sober, but there he will find out in time that smoking a joint on a Friday evening with a few close friends is okay, or if he goes to a concert and decides to take a hit of ecstasy he doesn’t turn into a total jerk!
    I believe that he could be a very nice guy but needs to find out how his body reacts to certain substances.
    I would suggest completely sober up until he gets to a place of excepting his faults and start working on fixing and changing himself into a man he can love. Then maybe he can try something he knows doesn’t alter his personality.

    I believe all drugs are equally addictive but it depends on the person.
    I also believe if alcohol is legal so should everything else.
    I know that offend people so let me word it this way,
    All drugs should be illegal including alcohol.
    One way or the other, anything else is hypocritical.
    I will end this with saying I take full responsibility for my actions while under the influence. I wasn’t allowed to Stand behind my addictions for leaniency, and neither should anyone else!!!!

  2. Thanks for your honesty and for taking the time to leave your thoughtful comment.

    I do not have first hand experience with addiction of any kind, although I will certainly admit to abusing alcohol (ie: drinking too much on occasion). It would be really fabulous to hear more from people who can relate to Rob Ford from a different perspective, as I think most of the commentary we’re getting right now comes from people who don’t really know what different drugs can do to a person.

    It sounds to me, however, that you went through a lot of important learning and growth, which I gather took a lot of time and reflection on your part – and you have every reason to be proud of the man you are now, by the sounds of things! This is my point. We can’t assume that if Rob Ford goes to rehab, he will emerge a good leader for the city of Toronto simply because he is sober. Maybe I’m wrong. It will be fantastic for Rob Ford if I am. But I doubt it. I think he has a lot to learn about being “a man he can love” as you so perfectly put it. In the meantime, it’s really unkind to everyone involved to keep him in a position of such incredible leadership and power.

    Thanks, again. I truly appreciate your chiming in!

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