A comment Toronto city council candidate Giorgio Mammoliti left on his Humber River-Black Creek rival Tiffany Ford’s Facebook page is being called racist and ignorant.
Ford, who is the current Toronto District School Board Trustee, wrote a post to her campaign page referencing a town-hall debate the night before, saying she asked Mammoliti to apologize for his “cockroach statement about people living in social housing.”
“Right now he sees me as a threat, he hasn’t said much to any other competitors so it’s very interesting that he consistently picks on me,” Ford said.
There were dozens of comments in the post, including that of the long-time councillor, who responded Thursday morning: “Most of you respondents need to wake up to what’s happening to you. On one hand you talk about white men being angry and on the other you just name call yourselves. Who is angry?? At least I have a plan to take you out of segregation, a white man does. Your black candidates don’t speak of how they will do that. They will just keep you bottled up in a poverty, segregated world with no hope. Wake up!!!!!
Some of Ford’s supporters responded to his comment saying it was an ignorant statement to make.
“He’s consistently bullying and then obviously supporters, if no one agrees with him then he’s running attacks,” she told CityNews. “The fact that he brought race into it, no one was talking about race at all. So it was very interesting for him to segregate himself, between me and him when it comes to race.”
Mammoliti blames Ford for starting the race conversation, saying he was simply offended by the term “white” that she apparently used in her post.
“She called Anthony Perruzi an angry white guy on Facebook, she then withdrew the word white” he said.
Ford denies that she made reference to race at any point.
Facebook does have a feature that allows users to view the edit history of posts made, and on Ford’s page, it doesn’t appear that there were any edits made and it did not appear to show the line “angry white guy”.
CityNews also asked Mammoliti to respond to claims of people calling his post racist.
“I’ve read it over and over again, it’s not racist at all,” he said. “How does anyone get racism from my post? I’m trying to stop the segregation of black people who are poor in the Jane and Finch corridor. I’m trying to help the community.”
Ford told CityNews she hasn’t heard from the councillor since he made that comment, but she’s also taking issue with something else Mammoliti wrote on her page — that he has a plan to tackle poverty in the Jane and Finch neighbourhood.
“First of all, you’ve been around for 23 years, what have you been doing to increase income for people here?,” she said. “The answer is lazy and he’s not doing anything about it. It’s time for change.”
To that, Mammoliti questions Ford’s experience.
“She was a trustee for four years and decided to hop on to the city level, why don’t you get more experience under your belt as a trustee before you enter the race and insult other people,” he said.