A Republican candidate for Senate riled his opponent and others on social media over the weekend by employing a term long used as a slur for gay men to demean one of Donald Trump's interlocutors from more than two decades ago.
"DONALD TRUMP. Putting self-righteous fa---ts in their place since 1993. How I love this fellow," Ted Busiek, a 30-year-old Littleton resident, posted to Twitter on Saturday.
The post linked to a short video clip of the real estate magnate, long before Trump's successful bid for the Republican presidential nomination, parrying with Congress about federal tribal gaming policy.
"If you look at some of the reservations that you've approved . . . they don't look like Indians to me. And they don't look like Indians to Indians. And a lot of people are laughing at it," Trump said in the remarks dated 1993, apparently shocking the congressman questioning him, who likened the remarks to historical racism. Trump said, "Only Indians can have the gaming . . . Why are you being discriminatory? Why is it that the Indians don't pay tax, but everybody else does. I do."
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Busiek told the News Service he didn't intend the term in a "hateful sense" or to imply that the congressman was gay, using the word instead to mean the congressman was "obnoxious" and was "kind of being a jerk."
Sen. Jamie Eldridge, an Acton Democrat set to face Busiek in November, said use of the term faggot in a derogatory sense furthers homophobia and he said his opponent should apologize and consider dropping out of the race.
"When a candidate for office uses such hateful rhetoric it's important to stand up to it and not be silent," Eldridge told the News Service. Eldridge said, "This is about the fact that in civil society you don't use hateful rhetoric directed at anyone."
Busiek said he has no "enmity" toward gay people and no interest in what goes on in private bedrooms. He opposes gay marriage and is "absolutely opposed" to adoptions by same-sex couples, Busiek said.