No, Suraj Patel, you are not being “cyberbullied”.

Photo Credit: WS Buzz

Creepy comments made back in August of 2012 by Suraj Patel, a 34-year-old Democrat who is running for a Congressional seat in New York against the party’s incumbent, Democratic Representative Carolyn Maloney, recently resurfaced.

The comments made by Patel, who was then 29 years old, were made in several social media posts. In these posts, he expressed his attraction to a 16-year-old minor, Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney, who had just competed in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, England and won both a gold medal and a silver medal.

Here are photos of the comments that Patel made about Maroney, who is now 22 years old.

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Suraj Maroney.jpg

He also added the following line, which is not pictured.

“If this happens with McKayla Maroney…you can’t fault me, you know?”

Patel even made an inappropriate remark about the situation regarding actor John Stamos when he was accused of having an inappropriate relationship with a 17-year-old girl back in 2010, so his comments about Maroney are not uncharted territory for him.

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But instead of owning these inappropriate comments about Maroney, who actually revealed in October of 2017 that she was being sexually assaulted by disgraced former USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University physician Larry Nassar at this time, and at the very least admitting that they are inappropriate, Patel is trying to play the victim after he received criticism when they resurfaced in early March.

According to David Wiegel of The Washington Post, “Patel laughed off the controversy, saying he wouldn’t be “cyberbullied” out of the campaign.”

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Let’s be honest with ourselves here. Even if Patel would have apologized for making these remarks, there still would have been criticism directed at him, as I am sure some people would have deemed his apology as illegitimate and stated that he was only apologizing because he got caught.

After all, having something negative resurface several years after it happened should not automatically make the person who did or said it immune to backlash for doing or saying it just because it was done or said several years ago. People would rightfully still be upset about the matter.

But the criticism that Patel has faced has been minimal anyway. This story did not elevate to national news like it would have had these comments been made by someone of the opposite party even more than five-plus years ago, as has been documented in previous situations regarding inappropriate comments. Yet he didn’t even admit that what he said was wrong, much less come out and apologize for saying it.

Admitting that what he said was extremely inappropriate right after these comments resurfaced would have at least done some good as far as showing the public that he has changed since five-plus years ago, at least to the extent that he knows now that these remarks are not remarks that a public official, or anyone for that matter, should be saying. After all, his views that he expresses on his social media accounts would seem to indicate that he has an unmatched respect for women.

But he couldn’t even do that. Instead, he decided to laugh off the controversy and play the victim and act as though everyone is out to get him when he is the one who made the inappropriate remarks to begin with.

We’re supposed to believe that Patel is being “cyberbullied” and that the people who think he is wrong for making these extremely inappropriate remarks are not only wrong but are “bullies” for making these remarks a point of discussion.

Calling out an adult for making inappropriate remarks about a 16-year-old minor is apparently bullying.

Give me a break.

The primary election for New York’s 12th Congressional District that features Patel against Maloney is set to take place on Tuesday, June 26. We will see at that time how much the resurfacing of these comments affect Patel’s campaign.

Asher C. Fair

Ash sig


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