Justin Trudeau wore brownface at a party in 2001 when he was a private school teacher

They don’t need to, “hypocrisy” will be the charge. I think the SNC Lavalin affair is in the same category. Does anyone think the Conservatives would not have done the same?

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“I shouldn’t have done that. I should have known better and I didn’t. I’m really sorry.”

What strikes me is how simple, how easy it is to make an apology that’s much better than 90% of the corporate and government not-really-apologies we’re all accustomed to hearing.

I don’t know enough about Trudeau to guess how much he means it. But something I’ve learned from the last couple years of American leadership is: The performative dimension of leadership matters, far more than I ever thought.

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The Green Party also wants to (somehow) regulate social media and force everyone to use “verifiable identities” - which will be just AWESOME for marginalized groups who use social media to find community, share experiences and coping strategies and advocate for better lives and who already have to live in fear of being doxed. Fear no more, the Greens will do it for you.


The Green Party is not ready to govern. I hope that as they become more popular they gradually become more ready to govern and that they at some point have to clean house of the misogynists.


Well, that would explain why fools keep misquoting the words of historical figures. You should doubt yourself more!

In 2001 the trade publication “InfoWorld” printed an instance with an ascription to Bertrand Russell and an acknowledgement to “A Word a Day”. This version included the phrase “fools and fanatics”, and it differed from Russell’s 1933 statement. Its provenance is uncertain:


At this point I’d say they have a vocal eco-fascist wing.


It has always been the policy of the Middle Ground Both Sides Centralist But Not Too Centralist Party (The MGBSCbntCP) to have both a fascist and a non-fascist at every meeting, for balance. /s


Yeah, that was bad. Honestly, his handling of that is why I am pissed off and disappointed, but not surprised by this.

Wilson-Raybould is badass. I give her full credit for not caving to a bad boss and doing the right thing, even though it cost her.


Because the equation should be serious of offence PLUS Intention behind offense PLUS recency of offense. Poor character is not an individual event; rather, it is a continuum, one that evolves over time and is demonstrated by repeated actions, not individual errors. Note: Error, not crimes; if you kill someone, that should be a stain on your record. .

The fact that, frankly, these photos were ignored for 18 years and then resurface prior to an election is some Nixon-era nonsense, and a great demonstration of why this is a joke; if it was so career-ending an offense, the person with photographic proof would have brought it up when Trudeau was a mere MP, or even before.

Fairness in Media, or in Ethics, is not the same as carrying water for bad-faith actors.

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Like a person who is videotaped doing blackface in the early 90s when he’s in his early 20s, then photographed doing the same thing later as a 30-year-old teacher?


Seems like an exhibited pattern of consistent thoughts and behavior to me, but what do I know?


We don’t get to disagree about low-hurdle issues like the unacceptability of a man in his late 20s wearing blackface in 2001. You’re welcome to disagree, but don’t expect other liberals to see you as an exemplar when it comes to principles.

It was full of weasel words falsely implying that it was a problem of the times that “we” were affected by rather than a problem of his own serial bad judgment at that age in regard to his costumes. I expect a better apology from someone in his position and from his background. That’s the larger problem for me, and why he’s earned himself and his party yet another own-goal.

There is a history of it being unacceptable over the past 50 years in all of North America, even if it wasn’t as prevalent in Canada in the U.S. (and make no mistake, historically at the height of its popularity minstrelry made its way across the border like most American culture). This is yet more lame excuse-making.

You’re going on the naive assumption here that all racism is virulent, KKK-style racism. Casual, thoughtless racism is a thing, too, and Trudeau’s costumes are a good example.

Then his apology should have reflected that personal asshattery, instead of making it about everyone else around him at the time.

I will, too. That doesn’t exempt Trudeau from making a proper apology so that the Conservatives’ attack on the basis of his history can be blunted. I want the Conservatives to lose, but the Liberals seem hellbent on making it easy for them to win.

Oh, it’s not denialism, just a bunch of privilege-blind white woke bros focused on economic justice and the class struggle and also appealing to the centrists, throwing social justice for PoC, women, and LGBTQ people under the bus as reasonable sacrifices.


Well she would make a good prime minister.

As for those of us in other ridings in theory with first past the post we get to decide about our local candidate. Our Liberal candidate seems like he is a decent person so if I decide to vote for him I will have no issues. On the other hand our former MP who is now one riding over due to redrawing boundaries- he really seems to be a slimy asshole and I would have problems voting for him without this issue of Justin and Arabian Nights.

Obligatory, as usual in these kinds of discussions:


It’s obvious heard to judge how millions of Canadians will react to this until we see some poll numbers.

However, to me it feels like the Liberal party is going to take a really big hit. The Conservative party is racist, but not overtly racist for people who aren’t following politics closely enough. The Liberal party won big around major cities that are very multicultural. Especially in the suburbs of these cities where the Conservative party is looking to make inroads. That said, from what I’ve seen online what I’ve typically seen is no people switching from Liberal party to another but people upset at the candidates and giving up on voting for this election. I wouldn’t be surprised if voter turnout takes a drop with them mainly coming from the Liberal side of things.

With all that said, it is still several weeks until the election which is a lifetime in politics, so there could be other big swings that happen between now and then.

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Some people here seem a little too interested in brushing this away, and relitigating other instances of bad behavior as being “not that bad, and you’re hurting our team.”

You want to defend sexual harassment and racism, because the guys doing it are on “our” side? No, there is no “our” there. Defending those things means that you see me, and others even less privileged than me, as acceptable sacrifices, so long as you win. Just because someone does good, doesn’t mean that they also don’t do a hell of a lot of harm. “Fuck you, I got mine” does not make you my ally.


But wait, there’s more

You also get a third instance caught on video of him in blackface (and black arms and legs…) from his youth… It’s more than a little strange. You can argue that someone might have worn blackface twenty years ago and not realized it was offensive (although perhaps they should have realized) but it’s starting to seem like this was something that Trudeau did again and again. And with gusto.



Yes. I think that maybe people are more clear about why it is offensive, there’s more of a dialogue about it, but yes.

I recall in the late 70’s being appalled by Andy Rooney playing an East Asian guy in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. And I don’t recall anybody doing blackface in the 80’s, 90’s, subsequently-- it’s not like that was something that people in any of the circles I ever traveled in would have thought would be well received. Maybe it was different in elite male prep schools…


I think you mean Mickey Rooney (who was also the star of the Andy Hardy movies). But as it happens Andy Rooney, who I greatly admire as a writer and journalist, also had several prominent moments of casual racism.

One example I recall, besides the Ted Danson roast incident discussed above, was this 1986 movie which was not well received.

It’s no excuse in Trudeau’s case. This is the son of a worldly and sophisticated former Liberal PM who should have known better, even if he wasn’t planning on running for office at the time (apparently it was his wife who was the real driver behind his embracing his political “destiny” after his brother died).