Halifax's 'Dawgfather' under investigation for anti-Semitic tweets
Published Thursday, January 15, 2015 8:39AM AST
Last Updated Thursday, January 15, 2015 8:50AM AST
A well-known Halifax entrepreneur is being investigated in connection with some controversial anti-Semitic tweets.
Jerry Reddick, more commonly known as the Dawgfather, has long been a popular fixture at Dalhousie University, serving up hot dogs to thousands of students each year. But now his Twitter account has landed him in hot water.
The hot-dog vendor said the tweets, some of which refer to Hitler, gas chambers and ovens, are meant to be satirical and he is simply trying to make a point about freedom of speech.
“They can say anything they want about the Prophet Muhammad, but we can’t say anything? I mean, don’t take it serious, because it’s not serious. It’s satire man. It’s satire. Why are you taking it so serious?”
But while the Dawgfather sees the tweets as satire, others see them as offensive.
Jon Goldberg, the executive director of the Atlantic Jewish Council, said he was stunned to read the tweets. He also said the Dawgfather is a walking contradiction.
“I firmly believe this man is either demented, crazy or looking for trouble,” said Goldberg.
“I think it’s disgusting and this gentleman says that he’s a father, a husband and a good Muslim, right? Well, I don’t know anybody that publishes and believes in what he publishes. What kind of father, what kind of husband is he, and what kind of Muslim is he?”
Goldberg believes the city should pull the Dawgfather’s business licence and a newly-formed Facebook group calling for a boycott of his business is getting more traffic.
Halifax Regional Police are also investigating the matter as a possible hate crime after receiving a complaint from the public.
“Halifax Regional Police received a complaint around 3 p.m. today related to a complaint received from a member of the public,” said Staff Sgt. Donald Mosher on Wednesday.
“It concerns some remarks made on a social media website, what we believe may be an anti-Semitic nature.”
The Dawgfather turned himself in at police headquarters when he learned police were looking for him, but he continues to defends his comments, and said he isn’t concerned about offending anyone, or being charged.
“Not at all because there was something like 40 million Africans died in the slave trade, you know, in the passage in the slave trade. At what point do you draw the line at freedom of expression?” he said.
“I’m not at all concerned I’m going to be charged because I have freedom of expression, freedom of speech. I’m not threatening nobody.”
His Twitter page remains active.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Matt Woodman