[guest post by Dana]
It all depends on who it is wearing the blackface…
It’s a funny thing to see how the media treats adored politicians when they are discovered to have worn blackface:
A photo from 2001 appears to show Canadian PM Trudeau darkened his face as part of a costume for an "Arabian Nights"-themed gala, according to a report from Time magazine. https://t.co/16L0YDKh0i
— NBC News (@NBCNews) September 19, 2019
Justin Trudeau apologizes for dressing up as Aladdin at a school party. Will that be enough for Canadians to look past it? https://t.co/nSZMARFjiP
— Slate (@Slate) September 19, 2019
For the third time in the past day, a photo of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wearing offensive makeup has emerged. https://t.co/BGPcK8Ag1w
— HuffPost (@HuffPost) September 19, 2019
Third instance of Justin Trudeau in face-darkening makeup surfaces https://t.co/cZ0Iy5xIKo
— The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) September 19, 2019
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada is the latest politician to apologize (3x) for wearing blackface
50 years ago… 40 years ago… 30 years ago… less than 20 years ago. Jim Geraghty asks us to pause as we recognize the significance of this moment:
Can we all take a moment to savor the delicious irony of Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau — the walking icon of tolerance, progressivism, and cultural sensitivity, the Dreamy Diversity Guy and favorite foreign leader of so many Democrats — telling Canadians today that he is unable to say whether he wore blackface (or probably more accurately, brownface) on more than three occasions?
Why, yes, yes we can!
Time magazine revealed a photo of Trudeau wearing brownface as an Aladdin character at an Arabian Nights” party in 2001, as well as blackface to imitate Harry Belafonte in high school, and then on a third occasion in the early 1990s.
In a society that wasn’t consumed by woke-scolds and “cancel culture,” we could argue that not every example of darkening the skin is the same as Al Jolson or Amos and Andy or other efforts to mock and deride an entire group of people. Nobody seems all that upset when Robert Downey Jr. played an over-the-top method actor who darkened his skin to play an African-American character in Tropic Thunder. But that would require people to recognize that, say, Megyn Kelly wasn’t being racist or malevolent when she described trying to look like Diana Ross on Halloween. And by golly, joining the outrage mob and claiming another scalp is just too much fun for people to resist.
Come on, Canada. Don’t vote against Justin Trudeau because of old party costumes. Vote against Trudeau because he’s corrupt and willing to pressure his justice minister to take it easy on a big company that supported him.
Apparently, there may be more videos of Trudeau in blackface to come. He reportedly can’t remember how often he did it. As he embarks on his apology tour, reactions from Trudeau’s fellow politicians has run the gamut.
To his credit, Trudeau came out and did the work for members of the media, who were simply unable to be straight-up in their reporting and instead resorted to incredible feats of linguistic contortions to avoid saying “blackface”:
“I appreciate you calling it makeup, but it was blackface.”
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he “shared the moments that he recollected” of his use of blackface, after three images of him surfaced in the past day pic.twitter.com/yF6SP5uplT
— Bloomberg TicToc (@tictoc) September 19, 2019
Finally, Trudeau blamed his behavior on white privilege. So predictable:
“The fact is, I didn’t understand how hurtful this is to people who live with discrimination everyday,” he said. “I didn’t see that from the layers of privilege that I have and for that I am deeply sorry and I apologize.”
It’s always the nannies and scolds telling us how to live that have the most to hide. They’re exhausting.
(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)