Eric van Oosterhout, the mayor of Emmen, has reacted angrily to the insulting treatment municipal council candidate Ugbaad Kilincci faced in his city on Saturday.
In an interview with RTV Drenthe, the mayor described it as a horrible incident. “I’ve been publicly involved in politics for 15 years and I’ve never experienced anything like this.”
While Kilincci, a Muslim woman who wears a hijab and was born in Somalia, was campaigning in Emmen this past weekend, several people hurled insults at her, calling her a “black monkey” and “towel-wearing retard”. The mayor does not feel that the racist remarks are representative of the tone of the election campaign.
“We had a good debate on Friday and everything else has been business as usual. And then something like this happens, and all of a sudden it seems like this sort of thing is normal in Emmen. Our council members don’t deserve that”, according to the mayor.
Van Oosterhout worries that society has become less civil. “People seem quicker to make negative remarks about someone’s appearance or background nowadays. It seems that anything goes on the streets. Standards seem to be getting lower by the day. That isn’t how I was raised. Everyone should consider the impact their words can have on someone else”, Van Oosterhout says.