Arnold Falk, the husband of Abbotsford Coun. Brenda Falk, has apologized for his “All Lives Matter” comment after facing a social-media backlash for initially defending it.
His apology says he “misunderstood the phrase to be a statement of equality,” and now understands it’s “offensive and used to diminish the importance of black people’s struggle for equality.”
“I in no way intended to invalidate the specific concerns affecting the BIPOC community and regret that my post came across that way,” Falk wrote through the Tanglebank Instagram account. “Too many black lives have been lost and this needs to stop.
“I am truly sorry for any hurt I have caused.”
His original “All Lives Matter” comment was made on a Downtown Abbotsford Business Association Instagram post expressing support for the Black Lives Matter movement. The comment was made through the account of Tanglebank, the local restaurant that he and his wife co-own.
“Let’s treat people with respect and dignity no matter what colour or gender they are. Treat people the way you want to be treated and let’s stop the BS,” the comment reads.
A screenshot of the comment was discovered and shared by University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) instructor Sharn Kaur Sandhra.
Look what I just discovered – this local restaurant also happens to be owned by @abbotsfordfirst council member Brenda Falk. So… supporting people of colour is BS eh?? Yikes @City_Abbotsford you all are on a roll lately. @AbbyNews @ty_olsen pic.twitter.com/d3YWK4np48
— Sharn! (NOT Sharon) Kaur (@SharnFTC) July 24, 2020
The Downtown Abbotsford Instagram account deleted his comment, which upset Falk, and he defended his use of the phrase.
He initially said he didn’t think the comment would hurt his wife politically, but in his apology he makes it clear the comment only speaks for himself and not “the City of Abbotsford, the Mayor, my wife Brenda, or her colleagues on council.”
“Responsibility for my actions lies with me and it is mine to bear,” he said. “Additionally, I’d like to extend an apology to the Abbotsford Downtown Business Association.”
Falk says he will try and learn from the experience.
The Tanglebank Instagram account has since blocked dozens of people, and has now barred other users from commenting on posts. The Tanglebank Twitter account, along with Brenda Falk’s account were deleted after they also blocked numerous other accounts.
The Abbotsford Downtown Business Association drew criticism for deleting the comment, citing it detracts from their mandate as an organization, instead of speaking out and explaining why the comment was wrong.
It’s worth noting that the VP of the ADBA endorsed council candidates in 2018.
So I guess this political abstention is a new policy. https://t.co/OWQ0sAMBlA
— Josh Reynolds (@jreynolds51) July 30, 2020