A story is breaking of Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, having donned brownface at a private school Arabian Nights dance where he once taught, and blackface at the same school to sing “Day O”.
A devastating scandal to Justin Trudeau and his many fans, for sure! However, how devastating it might prove to be will depend on how judgmental Canadians are on this matter. Perhaps equally telling will be how hypocritical they might be. It’s easy to condemn others who may exhibit similar behaviours to oneself. It’s not like racism isn’t widespread in Canada, meaning a lot of people perpetrate it, intentionally and unintentionally. Perhaps one hadn’t donned blackface or brownface, but what about other acts of discrimination and racism one might have committed that might have had far bigger impact? They may not be as symbolic as donning blackface or brownface, or as public, but they may have had more harm.
I’m NOT saying one should let go and forgive Justin Trudeau for this. Definitely not! I’m saying to put it in context, then decide. And I’m curious to see how many Canadians might do that via the reactions and change in poll numbers, though it won’t all be directly related to this incident, of course. It’ll just be speculative, but definitely something to think about pending what else I hear the rest of the election campaign days about Justin Trudeau and the other candidates.
As a scientist thinking type, though, I always come into everything with a theory. On this matter, my theory is that it’ll be a tough storm that’ll blow over soon enough, with memories like that of a weak hurricane. The Internet will assure it’ll never be forgotten, but Canadians are globally known for being “sorry”, and appreciating others who are “sorry”, and Justin Trudeau is “deeply sorry” about this. For starters, Canadians are probably “sorry” to have seen this already, and “sorry” that their Prime Minister is presenting himself as such to the world. 🙂
Whether Justin Trudeau wins or loses this election, I don’t think it’ll be on this incident, or at least not clearly on it. I don’t think it’ll be a turning point in the campaign. We Canadians are not as condemning as our American neighbours, who don’t need to be talking about our leaders’ faults, ya know?
We’ll see if I’m right or wrong on the matter in five weeks or so.