Lest anyone thing that campaign staff saying stupid things is merely an American phenomenon: A campaign manager for a candidate for office in Edmonton, Canada, was forced to resign after a series of offensive social media posts.
David Xiao is a member of the Canadian Progressive-Conservative party. Xiao’s campaign manager was Graham Fletcher, until these social media posts came to light:
- In a Twitter about a newspaper article about a U.S. school district being more accommodating to Muslims by removing religious names from their school calendar: “Anybody as fed up as I am having Muslims put their big offended foot into the middle of every damn thing out there?”
- Via Twitter: “Multiculturalism does not work. Secular western rule of law, equality, success, work, works just great.”
- In the comments section of a news article: ” I will insult who I want, when I want, where I want. Screw you.You are in the wrong country if you believe what you are trying to sell. And your thinking is dangerous. It is mid-east dangerous. It has no place in Canadian thinking. What’s next — wrapping up women in headbags to conceal their humanity? oh forgot. Too late, that has no place here either.”
Fletcher denied that he is anti-Muslim, saying he was confining his remarks to people who were attempting to bring Sharia law to Canada: “It was just the sharia stuff I was reacting to. It was blown out of proportion or out of context, and that’s just politics. But in order not to embarrass my party or my candidate, I immediately resigned.”
In a Twitter statement, the Alberta Progressive Conservative Coalition said:
Xiao himself did not comment on the matter.
In the past couple of months, there have been multiple staffers in America who lost jobs after offensive social media comments came to light, including:
- Ethan Czahor, who was forced to resign as Jeb Bush’s Chief Technology Officer after a series of older, offensive tweets were discovered.
- Liz Mair, who was forced to resign from her role as a digital consultant to Governor Scott Walker after her anti-Iowa caucus tweets were discovered.
- Jim Dornan, a staffer for Ben Carson, who made a series of offensive posts. Dornan wasn’t “fired,” as the Carson campaign said he was merely a volunteer.
The point: Careful with what you post. There is no room for context on social media, and offensive text can come back to hurt you.
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