Further Reflections on Trudeau’s “Blackface Scandal”

Canada’s Prime Progressive Fop, Justin of the Trudeaus, has attempted to weaken the blow of the endless storm of repetitive photographic revelations bound to rain down on him now that the dam is burst, by admitting that he cannot say “definitively” how often he has worn black- or brownface in public. 

Think about that: This man has dressed up in blackface makeup (and corresponding wigs) on so many occasions in various contexts — none of them acting gigs or other such understandable circumstances — that he cannot be sure anymore whether it was four times or twenty. Thus, to shield himself from further political damage, he feels the need to prepare Canadian voters for the likelihood that an indefinite number of such photographs might appear in the coming days. 

Perhaps I have lived a sheltered life — okay, I have definitely lived a sheltered life — but doesn’t that admission seem weird to you? Outside of Hallowe’en, theatrical productions, or playing in your parents’ closet or jewelry box as a kid, how many times have you dressed up in an identity-altering costume of any kind? I am pretty sure I can count all of my experiences: one.

About ten years ago, a group of Korean university students who were producing a comic video framed as an advertisement for an English language study program asked me, their teacher, to play the role of “foreigner” in the part of the video highlighting the “Before and After” benefits of the program. Since the advertisement they were mimicking showed both a male and a female student encountering corresponding male and female foreigners, I was asked to play both sexes in the video. My “girl costume” consisted entirely of a ridiculous blonde wig that looked as though it had been sitting at the bottom of a crate for thirty years. I wore it for about ten minutes — just long enough to stand in front of the ladies’ room mirror asking a Korean girl about her lipstick, while she pretended to be alternately frozen with fear (“Before”) and confidently fluent (“After”). I might have worn it longer, since it felt nice to have hair again, but it was summer and the darn thing was hot. So far, no one has invented the political thought crime of “transgender-face,” but when they do, I am sure I’ll be hauled up before the tribunal for my shameful performance as a non-cross-dressing man dressed up as a man dressed as a woman, much as “young Trudeau” is experiencing now. The difference, however, is that unlike Pretty Boy T, I committed my soon-to-be hate crime only once, and I can assure you there will be no subsequent revelations. 

In all seriousness, this whole topic of blackface shaming and all its equivalents is revolting to me, and exemplary of the inhumane evil that is progressive identity politics. As I have previously noted, were it not for his having been a leading proponent of the very same politically correct shaming culture that is devouring him now, I would be inclined to defend Trudeau against these unreasonable and truly shameful assaults on a man’s private life and playful excesses. The casualness with which the headlines all over the media are referring to these photos as showing “racist behavior” or “racist costumes,” as though the judgment “racist” were a straightforward, concrete fact, rather than a highly tenuous and questionable attempt at quasi-psychological assessment and political optics-parsing, is actually a far greater concern in the long run than the stupid young behavior of a stupid progressive poster child. It is also typical of the political age we live in that Trudeau himself, as a means of saving himself from any immediate consequences for his past behavior, is fully embracing this “racist history of blackface” narrative in order to separate himself from…himself.

What is strange about Trudeau’s case, however, is that he is now essentially admitting that he is a serial blackface-wearer. It seems to have been an obsession of his, rather than a silly and innocent one-off lark. In a way, this is not very surprising, however, as the serial nature of such antics is suggestive of a certain kind of condescending fascination with “going native,” a trait by which he comes honestly, since his father was famous (or infamous) for leaping at opportunities to don tribal feathers and join in a rain dance for the cameras. Such behavior, which at the time (the 1970s) political correctness honored as “embracing native culture,” has always struck me as indicative of a sense of wanton superiority in the participant. “Sure, I’ll play your silly little tribal games with you; after all, I’m the greatest man living, so I can do whatever I want and everyone will admire my authenticity in refusing to bow before modern man’s polite standards of ‘dignified behavior.'”

Pierre Trudeau also played anti-Semitic fascist as a young man, in the earliest of his endless stabs at conforming to the progressive vanguard of any given moment in a self-refuting (but popularly successful) attempt to look rebellious and free-spirited.

The difference between father and son in this regard is mainly that everything the foppish elder Trudeau did was a staged political statement of sorts, whereas his foppish young punk of a son seems to have made black- or brownface his hobby merely to get his picture taken, to be noticed, to make a show of himself in the most crass and simplistic manner possible — and, as the first of the revealed pictures suggests, to pick up chicks. This distinction captures the basic difference between Pierre and Justin Trudeau, between late twentieth century and early twenty-first century progressives, and in general between the world before and after the onset of the internet age. 

One final comment. The news article linked at the beginning of this post notes that one of the current photos of Trudeau in blackface was provided to Canada’s Global News by “a Conservative Party source.” This demonstrates one of the worst aspects of the way this story is playing out. Canada’s Conservative Party, which has never actually been conservative in any meaningful sense, but is the closest thing Canadian voters have to an alternative to the enviro-feminist-communist hordes (every other major party), is only too happy, for sheer electoral purposes, to buy into the kind of politically correct agenda on race and shaming that they ought to be resisting with all of their might on grounds of freedom of conscience, respect for the individual’s private life, and plain old innocent ethnic playfulness. Let’s be honest and unashamed about it: What person of Justin Trudeau’s age hasn’t occasionally adopted an exaggerated calypso accent and belted out “Day-O”? For that matter, Harry Belafonte himself, whom Trudeau is mimicking in one of the “scandalous” photos, was doing the very same thing, was he not? And how in the world, viewed from outside the theoretical universe of Marxist revisionism, was such cheerful pseudo-Trinidadian singing racist?

But no, instead of taking the proper position and standing against the Marxist tribunal mentality that dominates today’s discourse, Canada’s alleged conservatives are exploiting the progressive collectivist attitudes that, they imagine, will help them win an upcoming election — but which will also, in the long run, bury every single one of them, along with the rest of us. I’m sure these “conservatives” are too intellectually bankrupt and power-hungry to understand what they are casually trading away for such a meaningless electoral victory; but meaningless it will be, if won at this price.

Canada in the creeping shadows: A nation goes limp

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