I am no fan of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. But that does not mean I think his political career should be ended because of his whimsical use of skin-darkening material for a party 20 years ago…
…which is what may well take him down now.
From Alexander Panetta’s article at politico.com:
Justin Trudeau’s political career, already fragile, suddenly hangs in the balance of an explosive controversy over a two-decade-old photo of himself that he acknowledged as racist.
If history repeats itself, the bombshell news of Trudeau attending a party 20 years ago in brown makeup, reported by Time magazine Wednesday evening, will split the country into bitter disagreement over the extent to which this rates as a Canadian controversy.
The outcome of that argument will help decide whether Trudeau, who had already been hobbled by a corruption scandal and waning support from some progressives, survives an already-close race to win a second term Oct. 21.
The Canadian prime minister’s reelection campaign was jolted by the report of Trudeau wearing what it described as “brownface makeup” as part of a costume at an Arabian Nights-themed party at a British Columbia school where he taught at the time.
Wait a minute. That’s it? That’s the big deal that could bring Trudeau down? That he attended an Arabian Nights-themed party and darkened his facial and hand color to look more Arabian?
Here, pulled from Time Magazine’s article, is a picture of Trudeau at the party, from the 2000-2001 yearbook of West Point Grey Academy, a private day school where Trudeau was teaching at that time:
Is his skin significantly darkened? Yep.
But did he darken it to insult anyone, either Black or Arabian? Nope. He did it so he would look more Arabian, thus more in character with the theme of the party.
If someone can show me anything Jason Trudeau did or said that was defamatory toward people with darker skin I will join the lynch mob. Racism is racism.
But if no one can – and, so far, no one can – I chalk this up to nothing more than what he did by wearing the turban – trying to look Arabian for an Arabian-themed event. In other words, a big deal over nothing.
Just curious: is anyone calling the Asian woman wearing that head scarf a racist too?
How about, we all grow up and act like adults on this one. OK?
UPDATE: There apparently have been other instances as well… and maybe not as clearly non-racial. If so, Trudeau may really be finished after all.
More as it becomes confirmed.
ADDITIONAL UPDATE: and now a 27 year old picture of Trudeau and a friend with their pants down a little and lies open (no, their genitals were not exposed).
In other words, a stupid thing he did as a kid.
This is no a no-holds-barred hit job on Trudeau. And – again, I say this as a usual Trudeau detractor – it stinks.