Justin, my man, you could have set fire to Algonquin. You could have declared baby seals Canada’s national dish. You could built a pipeline through Parliament.
But you’ve done worse. And it may cost you the election.
On Wednesday, Time Magazine broke the news that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wore brownface during an Arabian Nights-themed party in 2001. The Liberal Party has confirmed the authenticity of the photo.
Exclusive: Justin Trudeau wore brownface at 2001 ‘Arabian Nights’ party while he taught at a private school, Canada's Liberal Party admits https://t.co/j3UobfYNIF
— TIME (@TIME) September 18, 2019
And while it can be debated whether or not a non-political slip-up almost two decades ago should cost Trudeau Canada’s highest office, the reality is that people do care. A lot. Especially in Canada. Double especially when inclusion is a foundational element of Trudeau’s platform. Couldn’t you have just gone as the genie? No one cares about blueface.
The Prime Minister issued an apology almost immediately after the news broke.
— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) September 19, 2019
“I should have known better,” Trudeau told reporters. “People make mistakes in this life.” Indeed.
It should go without saying that Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, and Green Party Leader Elizabeth May were secretly thrilled about the revelation and wasted no time condemning the PM.
“It’s troubling. It’s insulting. It’s making a mockery of someone for what they live and what their lived experiences are,” said Singh, who followed up with a tweet in support of the mocked:
Tonight is not about the Prime Minister.
It's about every young person mocked for the colour of their skin.
The child who had their turban ripped off their head.
And those reliving intense feelings of pain & hurt from past experiences of racism.
To you, I say you are loved.
— Jagmeet Singh (@theJagmeetSingh) September 19, 2019
Scheer: “Wearing brownface is an act of open mockery and racism. It was just a racist in 2001 as it is in 2019.”
Green Party Leader Elizabeth May tweeted that she is “deeply shocked.”