Ferguson unrepentant and ‘offended’ by accusations
(By Andrew Dreschel) An official with the Colombian consulate says it’s not up to him to say whether Coun. Lloyd Ferguson should apologize for controversial comments about his country being backwards.
But far from entertaining apologies, an unrepentant Ferguson is on the attack.
He’s “offended” that his reference to Colombia as a “backwards” place where the only wealthy are “drug lords” and chickens ride buses has been branded as stereotyping by politicians and members of the public.
“I wasn’t making that crap up; it’s what I visibly saw,” said Ferguson, who visited Colombia 12 years ago for a weeklong business conference.
“I don’t like being accused of stereotyping because I wasn’t stereotyping. I witnessed it first hand.”
Ferguson made his controversial comments during a budget meeting this week. He was responding to the city’s transit director using a quote from the Mayor of Bogota, Colombia’s capital city, stating a developed country is not where the poor have cars, but where the rich use public transit.
Coun. Mathew Green immediately took Ferguson to task for stereotyping. When the story went mainstream, it lit up social media and online commentary. Many demanded Ferguson apologize. The pitchfork-and-torch mob called him a racist and xenophobe.
One twit on Twitter accused Mayor Fred Eisenberger of agreeing with Ferguson because he was silent on the issue. Eisenberger pushed back, calling that and other comments as “outrageous” as Ferguson’s own. (Continued: Hamilton Spectator)