Trudeau’s apologies are overshadowed by his memory lapse


Courtesy of Creative Commons

Trudeau apologized quickly to the press however he it made it clear he could not remember the number of times he wore blackface.

Today, under the Trump administration, things seem so dire in America that most citizens don’t pay attention to what’s happening with other countries’ governments. However, information revealed last week about Justin Trudeau, the Canadian Prime Minister, was so shocking that word even reached Americans — mostly by Twitter, of course. 

Although Trudeau puts on the mask of being a progressive leader, it has become clear that this is not the only mask he’s familiar with, as photos of him in blackface have spread on the internet. 

The Canadian election is on Oct. 21, so Trudeau was forced to apologize quickly.

Trudeau attended an “Arabian Nights” themed ball at the school he taught at in 2001, wearing  what he calls “make-up.” Yes, this theme was basically a call for cultural appropriation, but the fact that Trudeau played into it so heavily does not help. He explained that he “didn’t realize it was racist at the time,” yet, this was 2001, and blackface was widely known as a racist display. Also, Trudeau was nearly 30.

He admitted responsibility and apologized, but how can we be sure it’s sincere? His apologies seem legitimate, but, believe it or not, it gets worse.

When asked if this was the only time he’s worn blackface, Trudeau responded that for a talent show, he wore blackface and an afro to perform “Day-O,” a popular song of Jamaican origin. Photo and video footage from three separate occasions verify Trudeau’s actions. 

Many Canadians are torn in their opinions of the Prime Minister now as some see this as the clear racist and insensitive act it was. Some accept his apology as heartfelt, but is an apology enough to wipe away the mockery made of other ethnicities? It seems he is just trying to save himself for re-election. 

If the fact that he used privilege to make fun of others isn’t bad enough, Trudeau also explained that he did not remember how many times he had worn blackface. When asked, he said he was “wary about being definitive.” 

Let’s just say, you know you’ve messed up big time when Tomi Lahren from Fox News says that you “should’ve known better.”

Sure, Trudeau makes a compelling apology despite the memory lapses, but can he be trusted to govern effectively after this? Can we trust someone who ever thought blackface was okay to make progressive decisions and defend the rights of people of color? Trudeau is a smart guy, so I highly doubt he was “unaware” of the hurtful history of blackface as a grown adult. 

The damage is done, and Trudeau has been exposed as a closeted racist. While I do believe he regrets this, actions speak louder than words, and he would have to rebuild a lot of trust with the Canadian people he has offended. Elections are close, and rebuilding this trust quickly will be difficult. Within today’s cancel culture, this could be the end of Trudeau’s career as Prime Minister as we know it, and maybe it’s for the best.