No doubt about it … Trudeau did a stupid thing; in fact, three stupid things … and who knows, there may be more!
And the revelations that the man who would be our Prime Minister again wore blackface 18 years ago (and more) could hurt Trudeau/Liberals in the 2019 federal election.
Certainly a consequence all the more understandable, given Trudeau’s own carefully cultivated current image as a defender of diversity, worshipper of multi-culturalism and champion of political correctness.
But let’s keep it real.
I remember what our society was actually like 20 years ago, and more … and Trudeau’s actions back then … even though inappropriate now … should be examined in the true context of the times.
Have we forgotten Peter Sellers’ hilarious movie The Party, in which the white actor played a bumbling Indian doctor, complete with accent. That film is still considered a comedic classic … but likely could not be made today.
Blackface? What about Al Jolson … in his time one of the most popular singing stars.
“According to music historians Bruce Crowther and Mike Pinfold: “During his time he was the best known and most popular all-around entertainer America (and probably the world) has ever known, captivating audiences in the theatre and becoming an attraction on records, radio, and in films. He opened the ears of white audiences to the existence of musical forms alien to their previous understanding and experience… and helped prepare the way for others who would bring a more realistic and sympathetic touch to black musical traditions,” says Wikipedia.
More recently, Angelina Jolie, who is white, played Mariane Pearl, a black woman, in A Might Heart (2016) and Joseph Fiennes played Michael Jackson (2007).
In fact, The Huffington Post two years ago, published an article entitled “25 Times White Actors Played People Color and No One Really Gave a S**t”. In fact, you will likely see some of your favorite stars: https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/entry/26-times-white-actors-played-people-of-color-and-no-one-really-gave-a-sht_n_56cf57e2e4b0bf0dab313ffc
White actors playing blacks, Chinese, other Asians, Arabs, First Nations … and not just as serious personages, but comical characters as well.
Did you … or any of us … object? Condemn them? Demand they apologize?
No. Instead, hundreds of millions of people flocked to those films … and most loved them.
Trudeau … a drama teacher almost 20 years ago, portraying Aladdin in an Arabian Nights skit … darkening his complexion, should not be so shocking.
The other two incidents may indeed be more troubling … but I doubt most Canadians will see it as Tory Leader Andrew Scheer proffered, that it all makes Trudeau “not fit to govern the country”.
I personally have always been much more troubled … not by skits 20 years ago by juvenile nitwits …. but by Canada’s actual historical ACTIONS for many decades: the terrible treatment of our Japanese citizens and theft of their properties by “respected” officials, including elected politicians; the barring from Canada of Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany, sending them back … to their deaths; the exploitation, abuse and racial tax targeting of Chinese workers and immigrants; our neglect or abuse of First Nations peoples; and, the decades of discrimination against racial, ethnic and religious minorities in college/university admissions, employment hiring, promotions, housing sales, social clubs, golf courses and even marriage/adoption rights.
The good news? We ARE making progress and Canada is becoming a better place. But there is still much more to accomplish.
So what bothers me now is watching politicians trying to personally capitalize and profit from Trudeau’s silliness when he was in his 20s, but still not speaking out LOUDLY themselves against the open racism and religious discrimination taking place in Quebec TODAY, the growth of hate crimes against people of colour across the country, and the rise in acts of anti-Semitism taking place right NOW!
And I still want to know why Scheer, who wants to Prime Minister of ALL Canadians, did not walk or take part in ANY Gay Pride activities across the country … not in 2001 … but in 2019?
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