By: Laura Steiner
One week ago Time magazine published a piece about photos they’d obtained from a source that showed Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau in blackface makeup. The images were from a yearbook of a school Trudeau taught in 2001. He was 29 years old at the time.What makes it tragic is that in the era of social media, this is a mistake everyone makes. Who among us doesn’t have that single quote, social media post, yearbook photo we wish we could take back? The answer is nobody. If it were one incident, it’s easily forgiven.
Two days later, another two more incidents were unearthed. The single, stupid decision he made at age 29 evolved into a question of character. The answer is nobody, probably not even his own cabinet, and advisors know who the real Trudeau is. This is a man who spent four years building a progressive image of a male feminist from the start building equal representation into his cabinet and adding a component to his foreign policy. He’s a man who welcomed refugees with arms wide open when other countries were hardening their borders to them. A man who marches in Pride parades all across the country, someone that made assisted death a law in this country.
Trudeau is also a man that leads a party which spent the first week of the campaign painting the Conservatives in a negative light. A daily stream of videos from past years were released on social media of Conservative candidates, including Andrew Scheer espousing controversial views on same sex marriage, and abortion. It’s shocking that a man who purposefully selected such a strategy did so without telling his advisors about this behavior. In the age of the Internet, it was bound to come out, similar to the videos they used on the Conservatives. The entire thing reeks of arrogance, and hypocrisy.
NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh puts a human face on it. Singh has battled racism most of his life. He did a 1 minute video published that night. “It’s about every young person who has been mocked for the colour of the skin. The child who had their turban ripped off their head. And all those who are reliving intense feelings of pain and hurt from past experiences of racism. To you, I say you are loved. ” It captured the hurt, and shock felt by an entire country.
So many questions are raised by this incident. Who is the real Justin Trudeau? At what point does an easily forgivable indiscretion become bad judgement? How do you reconcile these two sides of this person? Every voter will have to answer these questions for themselves.