Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is facing backlash for wearing costumes that included black and brownface on at least three separate occasions.
Trudeau is now apologizing as he continues to campaign for reelection as Prime Minister, for which Canadians will vote at the end of October.
A 29-year-old Trudeau wore brownface at an "Arabian Nights" themed party while teaching at a prestigious Canadian school.
BREAKING PHOTO: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau seen in "Arabian Nights" party photo from a 2001 yearbook we… https://t.co/l7fTrJgAxG— News Breaking LIVE (@News Breaking LIVE)1568847815.0
When asked by reporters if he'd donned racist makeup at any other point in his life, Trudeau admitted he'd dressed in blackface in high school while singing civil rights leader Harry Belafonte's "Day-O."
A photo from that instance soon surfaced as well.
@JustinTrudeau in blackface at Jean Brebeuf high school. #cdnpoli #elxn43 #BreakingNews https://t.co/q6v5bgYJvJ— Robert Fife (@Robert Fife)1568860587.0
And if that wasn't enough, an apparent third instance of Trudeau wearing racist makeup surfaced hours after that.
Third Justin Trudeau blackface incident emerges https://t.co/pU4hrH19Gu https://t.co/1eTNwE6tiZ— Zaspera (@Zaspera)1568900348.0
The racist behavior is at odds with causes Trudeau has been revered for by progressives in Canada and its neighbor, the United States.
Now, he's apologizing, telling reporters:
"This is something I shouldn't have done many years ago. It was something that I didn't think was racist at the time, but now I recognize it was something racist to do, and I am deeply sorry."
Reporters pressed him for elaboration.
'I should have known better' - Canada's Trudeau apologizes for dressing up in brown face. More here:… https://t.co/J3sGXMtILp— Reuters Top News (@Reuters Top News)1568861514.0
The leader of Canada's New Democratic Party and one of Trudeau's opponents in the Prime Minister race, Jagmeet Singh, condemned the pictures of Trudeau and spoke of the racism he'd faced in his own life.
Everyone should watch this response from Jagmeet Singh. I don't think you can say it better than this https://t.co/FCCXVEGgfD— Robyn Urback (@Robyn Urback)1568857687.0
Trudeau may have apologized, but it's unclear if his chance for reelection is tarnished beyond repair.
Canadians remain divided on whether or not an apology could ever be enough.
Message from your friendly anti-racism critic: If you wore blackface, don’t tell anyone that you wore blackface, a… https://t.co/EFrK0pNlC4— Laura Mae Lindo (@Laura Mae Lindo)1568848564.0
@GregFergus re the Trudeau revelations: I spoke to the PM yesterday. I believe everyone makes mistakes. He apologi… https://t.co/5s678zC8kT— Tonda MacCharles (@Tonda MacCharles)1568903658.0
Here's the thing: Brown people don't benefit from this kind of margin of error -- EVER. And quite frankly I'm 44 ye… https://t.co/N2ZzwXqA3K— Rita Trichur (@Rita Trichur)1568856928.0
I’m done with #cdnpoli for the day. Go campaign for your candidates, I accept Trudeau’s apology. The men in my com… https://t.co/1f4dWZjyjn— 🇨🇦Leena 🇮🇳🇵🇰🇸🇬♥️ (@🇨🇦Leena 🇮🇳🇵🇰🇸🇬♥️)1568908125.0
The other is that people do in fact change, learn, and that apologies do in fact matter. So the tension isn't simpl… https://t.co/57PgvUR6S3— navneet alang (@navneet alang)1568855126.0
Canada will speak for itself in the election for Prime Minister on October 21.
Many people are unaware that Canada also interred Japanese Canadians during WWII. The book Righting Canada's Wrongs: Japanese Canadian Internment in the Second World War is available here.
Listen to the first season of George Takei's podcast, 'Oh Myyy Pod!' where we explore the racially charged videos that have taken the internet by storm.
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