By Zain Abouraia, Opinion Editor
People need to stop judging Toronto Mayor Rob Ford for smoking crack.
Ford has suffered abuse from the media and local politicians after months of questions after news reports of a 90-second video showing the mayor smoking out of a glass crack pipe.
“Yes, I have smoked crack cocaine,” Ford said “, but … do I? Am I an addict? No.” Mayor Ford admitted to using crack-cocaine after a drug investigation into Ford’s friend and occasional driver, Alexander Lisi. Fresh from that humiliation, the Toronto City Council stripped Mayor Ford of his power on Monday.
Never mind the opinion of the citizens of Toronto, whether they love or hate Ford and want him made a figurehead. What matters is that he admitted to using crack after law enforcement and the combined world media hounded him with questions and allegations based on reports of a grainy flip-phone video with a resolution similar to the Apollo 11 spacecraft camera’s.
This cycle tends to repeat itself whenever a scandal breaks concerning a politician or celebrity of sufficient status.
Remember when beloved Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps was photographed holding an empty, sparkling, clean bong with no flame or smoking material evident. The man won eight gold medals and set a world record for swimming, for one brief shining moment he was the fastest man in the world and the most beloved American athlete. One party, one picture and his career was ruined forever. He got up on the podium and apologized, desperately trying to salvage what was left of his living, all for not.
The best example would probably be former president Bill Clinton. The man presided over a $69 billion government budget surplus in 1998 which was the first since 1969; he came the closest to facilitating peace in Israel since the beginning of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; and could play the saxophone better than George Clinton. All of his achievements and all of his recognition as one of the finer American politicians was smashed into a million pieces because of one stain on one dress. In 1998, it came out that President Clinton was having an affair with a Whitehouse intern, Monica Lewinsky. Months of congressional investigations led to Clinton’s eventual admission that he had an affair and the president of the United States was impeached for perjury and receiving a blowjob.
It reminds me of ancient cultures that used to sacrifice people to their pagan gods in hopes of a better growing season, or the Salem witch trials where people just burned women who were accused of witchcraft. It is the general tendency of people to want to sacrifice those whom society demands based on moral lapses and transgressions. The one thing people forget is, those who are vehemently against what high-profile figures do in their private life, shout and scream out of a deeply hidden desire to participate.