Doug Ford has a unique interpretation of the word "racism." Namely, he believes doesn't necessarily have to do with race, and that Rob Ford is a victim of it.
That is the upshot of yet another logic-defying scrum with Councillor Ford, the mayor's brother and campaign manager.
Mayor Ford returned on Monday from a 60-day leave of absence to deal with his substance abuse issues. On Tuesday he attended at an East York Canada Day parade where he was angrily confronted by a "shirtless jogger" named Joe Killoran, who asked the mayor about his homophobic and racist comments, general dishonesty, and alleged conflicts of interest in a video that has since gone viral.
Speaking to reporters at City Hall on Wednesday, Doug accused Killoran of uttering a racial slur at the mayor, even though video of the encounter doesn't show Killoran using any racist remarks.
Doug's unfounded allegation came after reporters asked him when the public can expect the mayor to fully address his bigoted comments, which by now are well documented, including in a Toronto Star article that quoted the mayor as rattling off a string of ethnic slurs and boasting, "I'm the most racist guy around. I'm the mayor of Toronto."
"So the racial slurs from this teacher yesterday against the mayor," began Doug, before being cut off by incredulous reporters who asked for proof.
Doug offered no evidence to support the claim. Pressed on the subject in a separate scrum later in the day, he offered: "Racism isn't just about religion and colour and race. It's about going after someone relentlessly on a daily basis." He then accused Killoran, a teacher at Malvern Collegiate Institute, of "indoctrinating" his students with anti-Ford beliefs.
"You can be racist against people that eat little red apples, you can be racist against people that have a drinking problem, you can be racist against people that are too fat. So that's my answer to that," he said.
Doug also claimed Killoran was "out of control. "He obviously needs therapy, he obviously needs anger management," he said.
Killoran did not immediately reply to a request for comment.
The Ford brothers have a history of trying to deflect criticism by using personal attacks. It's also not the first time Doug has accused the mayor's detractors of being racist. In May, 2013 both Rob and Doug accused a caller to their radio show of being racist when she asked about the infamous photo that showed Rob with a trio of alleged gang members.
It's also a favourite tactic of the Ford's to paint perceived opponents as mentally ill. See the Sarah Thomson scandal.
Doug has also at various times suggested that reporters behind damaging (and very true) stories about the mayor are mentally unstable, lazy, even potential murderers who'd string him up in Nathan Phillips Square given the chance. Rob famously had to issue a full retraction and apology when he insinuated a Star reporter was a pedophile.
Members of the public are not immune to this attempted character assasination. In a shouting match in the council chamber in November Doug accused people sitting in the gallery of not being "real people" because their politics differed from his. Wednesday, Doug described citizens who heckled the mayor at the Canada Day parade as "left-wing lunatics."
As if you'd have to be crazy to be offended by the Fords.