Trudeau’s ‘brown­face’ pho­tos rock his re-elec­tion bid

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - Times Global - Dan Bilefsky and Ian Austen

Toronto: Rev­e­la­tions that Cana­dian PM Justin Trudeau has dressed up in brown­face and black­face on mul­ti­ple oc­ca­sions have rocked his re-elec­tion cam­paign. The leader has long cast him­self as a glit­ter­ing spokesman for the world’s be­lea­guered lib­er­als, but that care­fully cal­i­brated im­age suf­fered a ma­jor blow this week when pho­tos and a video emerged of the prime min­is­ter dress­ing up as racist car­i­ca­tures in the early 1990s and in 2001.

One showed him at an “Ara­bian Nights” party, dressed up as Aladdin in brown­face makeup and a tur­ban, his arms wrapped around a woman. The pic­ture was taken while Trudeau was 29 and teach­ing at a school in Van­cou­ver, Bri­tish Columbia. While apol­o­gis­ing for that im­age at an ap­pear­ance on Wed­nes­day, Trudeau also ad­mit­ted to dress­ing up in black­face while per­form­ing “Day-O,” the Ja­maican folk song, in high school. “I should have known bet­ter then, but I did’t, and I am deeply sorry for it,” Trudeau said. “I’m go­ing to ask Cana­di­ans to for­give me for what I did. I shouldn’t have done that. I take re­spon­si­bil­ity for it. It was a dumb thing to do.”

Then, on Thurs­day, more dam­ag­ing ma­te­rial sur­faced. Trudeau’s cam­paign spokes­woman con­firmed that a video posted by Glob­alNews, a Canada-based news or­gan­i­sa­tion, showed the prime min­is­ter in the ear­ly1990s dressed in black­face and an Afro wig. In the video, he is wav­ing his hands around and stick­ing out his tongue. And the Cana­dian Broad­cast­ing Cor­po­ra­tion posted an­other photo from the 2001 “Ara­bian Nights” party. In it,Trudeau, again in brown­face and wear­ing a tur­ban, has his arms around two Sikh men.

The new dis­clo­sures come only a few months af­ter ac­cu­sa­tions sur­faced that Trudeau had bul­lied his for­mer jus­tice min­is­ter and at­tor­ney gen­eral, an indige­nous woman, while press­ing her to set­tle cor­rup­tion charges against a ma­jor Que­bec en­gi­neer­ing com­pany. When she didn’t com­ply, she ac­cused him of de­mot­ing her.

The photo’s pub­li­ca­tion could spell more trou­ble for Trudeau, who is fac­ing a se­ri­ous chal­lenge from Con­ser­va­tive leader An­drew Scheer. His apol­ogy did not stem the crit­i­cism. “I am deeply trou­bled by what this means to Canada. Young kids are not just go­ing to see just one or two but mul­ti­ple images of the PM mock­ing their lived re­al­ity,” said Left­ist New Demo­crat leader Jag­meet Singh, a Sikh.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.