Trudeau Facing Scrutiny Amidst Federal Election

Earlier this week, the shocking controversial photos and video of

current Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau have shaken up the

political world and have taken the top headlines of many major news

outlets in Canada and internationally. What exactly were these photos

of though?

Nearly two decades ago in 2001, when most of the freshmen here would

have been newborns, photos and video of Mr. Trudeau depicted wearing

black face and brown face were taken. The Prime Minister has been very

defensive of and cautious about what to say in response, having

apologized to many people already for the incidents, stating that he

has no memory of the occurrences.

While some believe 18 years is a long time ago and that things were

different back then, it certainly doesn't help the Liberal party's

campaign, as rather than focus on promoting Trudeau's ideas of how

they plan to make Canada better, they are instead rapidly trying to do

damage control, and with Trudeau's approval rating within areas like

Alberta and Southern Manitoba facing an all time low, this certainly

drives him to a point some would even refer to as beyond rock bottom.

Some say that it would have helped if Trudeau had spoken out and came

forward about these incidents beforehand, rather than just shrugging

them off and not saying anything about them, as though they didn't

exist. In one of the photos, he can be seen in brown face with a

turban, something that the NDP party leader Jagmeet Singh calls both

deeply hurtful and offensive.

Singh took over the position of leader from Tom Mulcair who previously was Trudeau and Stephen Harper's adversary in the 2015 election. Singh is from Scarborough Ontario, and had an upbringing in a Sikh family, and his parents were immigrants from India. He is a devout member of the religion, and is the first non-Caucasian leader of a political party in Canada, so he did have quite a bit to say about the ordeal that our Prime Minister faces.

Trudeau has stated that he will apologize to Singh for what he had

done and hasn't done so yet, but has said he will. Singh has invited

Trudeau to have a private one on one discussion relating to the racist

pictures. Trudeau had this to say to reporters in Toronto:

             “I will be apologizing to him personally, as a radicalized Canadian, as I have been apologizing to Canadians, who have suffered discrimination and intolerance their entire lives in ways that some of us, like me, have never had to experience on a daily basis,”

Trudeau expressed deep regret, likely due to how this will be

affecting his campaign and career moving forward, but did say this

about Singh's idea to meet:

“And on that I am certainly in deep agreement with Mr. Singh and I

look forward to having a good conversation with him.”

While many claim that Justin had made a few dumb decisions way back when, but it still hurts for some, including many of the immigrants

who helped support him in 2015 during his campaign. How this will

affect liberals has yet to be determined, but it doesn't look too good

for them at the moment. 

As stated before, some say that it was a

different time, while I would like to point out the fact that 18 years

ago it was any less okay. Racism is racism, and in 2001 it still would

have been deemed as highly offensive. Perhaps during the 70's a stunt

like that wouldn't have seemed that bad at the time, 2001 was long

after acceptance towards black people had become mainstream, which I

would say is likely going to do Justin no favours in this election.

Conservative party leader Andrew Scheer has been attacking Trudeau,

and has mainly been focused on this issue, which doesn't come as a

surprise, as the liberals were busy digging up dirt and raiding the

closets of Conservative party members for skeletons, and had found

allegations of racism with plenty. Scheer states that though the

actions of those members are shameful, as long as the people guilty

are honest about what has happened and take accountability for their

actions, then  it shows a level of maturity, one that unfortunately

our own Prime Minister seems to be lacking. Scheer calls the scandal

deeply shameful.

While Scheer may be using this as political ammunition against Trudeau in hopes of letting the Conservatives reclaim Parliament which they lost after Stephen Harper's defeat in 2015, Sheer is also probably

using the incident to draw attention away from his own scandals, which

relate to his homophobic views which have recently come to light, but

have now been overshadowed by Trudeau's scandal. Scheer had previously skipped many LGBT celebration events, and a pride parade back in August and has been very cautious about sharing his views on the subject of gay marriage, with the homophobia scandal being an ongoing trend for the Conservative leader. Trudeau and Singh have both

attended pride parades, yet Scheer hasn't and with the more recent

strings of homophobia attached to him, it's likely that LGBT voters

will be steering clear of any Conservative rallies and ditching their

support for the party. Trudeau's scandal hasn't just been dominating Canadian headlines.

Stateside, people have been discussing the issue there as well. Host

of Comedy Central's “The Daily Show” Trevor Noah, who is biracial and living in New York happens to be an immigrant from South Africa, and the comedian has proposed a law to stop incidents of black face from happening as often. Meanwhile, United States President Donald Trump has mentioned that even he is surprised by how many times the PM has been shown wearing black face. Trump is no stranger to allegations of racism, even before he was campaigning for President in 2016, having accused former President Barrack Obama of being a “Secret Muslim” and had requested that Obama show the world his birth certificate. During the campaign too, Trump had proposed anti-terror and border control plans that obviously did seem to stem from fear of ethnic minorities, with a proposed Muslim entry ban to the United States that sounded like the evil plan of an off brand James Bond villain, and his border wall, which if I'm being realistic about, he probably got the idea

from watching “Game Of Thrones” on HBO.


Even someone who seems more racist than Trudeau is shocked by the racist scandals he has been involved in, and keep in mind, Donald

Trump was backed by the KKK in the 2016 election and tried to downplay the Charlottesville incident in 2017 with the comment “There were good people on both sides.” So maybe this is more serious than some people think. 

Either way, Trudeau is trying to make amends without further hurting his campaign, and hasn't been specific on if the documented incidents were the only ones that he had been a part of, or if there were more. Until after the election, we likely won't get an answer

unless more surfaces on its own.

Until then, Canadians will have to decide themselves who they want to run this country. Elections take place next month, so for now Trudeau and Scheer must both try to get their incidents under control.