If anything brings people’s real opinions out of the woodwork and into the public eye, it’s Twitter.
Matthew Ellis is a current candidate for director in Area C of the Comox Valley Regional District. And he’s being lit up by the public over past social media posts.
If there’s one good thing about social media, it makes identifying people’s true feelings almost a bit too easy.
The primary comment he’s being criticized for reads: “My dogs don’t like Muslims. The feeling’s mutual.”
It seems pretty obviously hateful, but is Ellis apologizing?
Nope, he’s digging in his heels.
In a Wednesday post on his Facebook page, Ellis states in a “clarification, not an apology” that the quote was, according to him, not racist at all.
“I will not be made to bend to the dirty tricks of radical eco-zealots out to malign me. The quote was in response to a radical Muslim group attacking people’s dogs I’m [in] an attempt to force them to get the dogs out of the neighbourhood,” Ellis stated. “This type of bullying is unacceptable to me, as is the constant mudslinging in today’s politics. I condemn racism in all its forms.”
If you still need more of Matthew’s thoughts to form an opinion, here are a few choice quotes from his now-deleted Twitter account:
Are these the public thoughts of a leader?
These were just the tip of the iceberg. We wish we had screen-capped more.
Like most political “mudslinging,” his comments have not only outed his stance but also shown who else supports it.
Ellis was previously endorsed by The Comox Valley Mainstream, a group that says it “reflects the views of the broad middle ground of Valley citizens.”
While the group has now publicly dropped Ellis from their endorsements, they showed their true thoughts on the matter in a now-deleted Facebook post, as reported by Comox Valley Record and many Facebook comments.
In this post—which was removed after facing extensive backlash—CV Mainstream said they support Ellis and are proud of his stance.
As a fallout of the post, some candidates endorsed by CV Mainstream have cut ties with the group.
Arzeena Hamir, who’s running for Director of Area B, posted on Facebook about the shock she felt reading Ellis’s comments.
“Mr. Ellis and Comox Valley Mainstream, the third-party organization that endorses him, not only refuse to apologize for his comments, they defend this racist and hateful behaviour…We must denounce racist, hateful language; no one in the Comox Valley should feel threatened or intimidated by this unacceptable behaviour.”
Now that’s a statement we can get behind.