Trudeau says he's ‘sorry’ he wore brownface at 2001 Vancouver party
Trudeau says he's ‘sorry’ he wore brownface at 2001 Vancouver party
Twitter screenshot /Yashar Ali Time
19 September, 2019, 16:32
There was plenty of time between 2001 and today for the Liberal Leader to acknowledge that in the past he had worn an offensive, racist costume, that he had acted thoughtlessly, but that life is a progress toward greater enlightenment.
Evan Solomon, host of CTV's Question Period, tweeted a photo later in the evening that sources confirmed to him showed this earlier instance of Trudeau in blackface.
Time magazine posted the photo, which it says was published in the yearbook from the West Point Grey Academy, a private school in British Columbia where Trudeau worked as a teacher before entering politics.
He denied being in the picture but admitted wearing blackface as a young man while portraying Michael Jackson at a dance party in the 1980s.
Hailey Hunter, who was attending the rally with Knights Cowling and Thompson, drew an explicit contrast between Trudeau's apology for the photo on Wednesday and the earlier SNC-Lavalin affair. "I wish I had known better then, but I didn't and I'm deeply sorry for it". "This is something unacceptable and it is racist", Trudeau emphasized.
A representative for Trudeau did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment. But I was really touched last night by a friend who reached out and said that lot of people couldn't fight back.
She said blackface was not almost so widely denounced in 2001 as it is now. It also comes just as the Liberal Party had managed to regain ground on the opposition Conservatives, and part of its strategy was to attacking rival candidates for past mistakes and demand their parties remove them from the ballot. He is posing alongside four women in the picture. It undermines his carefully cultivated brand as a politician who champions diversity. For example, Statistics Canada said turnout among recent immigrants from Africa soared 22 per centage points in 2015 over the 2011 election, while voting rates among recent immigrants from West Central Asia and the Middle East jumped by 22 percentage points.
Some Canadian observers noted Trudeau's insistence on referring to brownface and blackface as "makeup". Right now, the Conservative and Liberal parties are neck-and-neck.
At the least, this furor will derail the Liberal campaign for several days. Yet he didn't recommend that Scheer go fully on the offensive.
Rachel Decoste, a community activist and media critic in Ottawa who has been outspoken about blackface in Quebec, said the opinions of those who have experienced racism are the ones that matter the most.
Later in the evening, however, Scheer reacted in the strongest terms. Singh asked. "Is that the real Mr. Trudeau?". Singh's statement after he saw the photo was emotional.
He said: "To people who have grown up with racism, who grown up being told that they were less.don't make this give up on yourself".
Trudeau has also been working with President Trump to get a new trade agreement in place between Canada and the United States to replace NAFTA. Thompson said she hopes they don't let him off easily. Nelson Wiseman, a political science professor at the University of Toronto, said he didn't think the photo's release would cause people to vote differently.
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