Thursday 9 July, 2020

Update: Aboud apologises for Facebook comment on Floyd protests

Update June 2, 2020: 

Michael Patrick Aboud has apologised for a comment he made regarding looting taking place during George Floyd protests in the US, saying his words were misconstrued. 

In a public Facebook post, Aboud said his words were never intended to be racist.

"It was never meant or worded as a racial slur. But maybe it could of been communicated better. What I meant was that looting, rioting, assaults , innocent lives damaged , anarchy is not the answer or solution to any problem, the economy and lives that are affected would be your own."

Aboud's comment went viral online after it was shared over the weekend. 

The original comment, which was shared online, said: “Burning and looting is not protest for any good. They use the Floyd matter to do what comes natural. An excuse!”

However, Aboud said he was referring to people within the community whose properties were damaged due to the violence.

"What I meant to say is a fraction of society and I say this “of all races “ and ethnic compositions and I’m sure religious backgrounds have engaged in anarchy that destroys the very communities in which they have to reside and survive and thrive upon. A fraction of people that thrive on destruction and use an opportunity to loot, steal and commit heinous acts of violence."

"I saw an African American man in the states, crying and asking "why would you do this to me why would you destroy my business why would you steal from me, I worked hard in this community".

"There are many many peaceful and democratic protests that I am all for. But the small fraction of society that is creating anarchy and destroying innocent hardworking lives is what I was speaking against, when I said do what comes natural. It was never geared to a race of any kind at all."

Aboud said he was sorry for any hurt caused by his statement.

"For those whom were hurt, or upset by my miscommunication, I am truly sorry. It is not what I meant at all. I hope my thoughts here could somehow correct my misrepresentation of my statement, I really am sorry."

His response also coincided with the 'Black Out Tuesday' social media campaign, which was started within the music industry to bring awareness for support for the black community in the US. Social media posts with '#blackouttuesday' have since been shared online. 

 

Original story: 

President of the Downtown Merchants Association (DOMA), Gregory Aboud, said he does not agree with social media comments made by a local businessman over the George Floyd protests.

Trinidadians responded angrily after a Facebook comment was made by a local businessman regarding protests in the US over the death of George Floyd, Breanna Taylor and other victims of police brutality.

The comment, which was later removed, stated: “Burning and looting is not protest for any good. They use the Floyd matter to do what comes natural. An excuse!”

Aboud said he completely disagrees with the statement, adding that the commenter is not a Port of Spain businessman:

“I completely disagree with the remarks...His comment is totally insensitive to the anguish that is being felt about the killing of George Floyd - he was handcuffed and defenceless - and his death is a continuation of the justifiable complaint from African American citizens, especially men that they are at risk of being killed by the police for no reason.

“His comments show no understanding of the pain that is being felt and my personal position is to reject his remarks totally - he is not a Port of Spain businessman and his views do not represent any of the views of the hardworking people here.”

Many online also condemned the comment.

“Shame on you...and all the others who “love” your status,” said one person.

Another said: “The man say what comes natural you know. Smh.”

One woman said: “Also pay attention to who liked, loved and laughed at the post.” 

Another commented: "I shall not support ANY business you have because my money is not good for you...there are good black people out there protesting. The protestors will protest and the looters will loot. There are white people looting, and causing destruction and they are being caught. You are not a good Trinbagonian. We do not like people like you!"

Loop News has reached out to him for comment.

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