Second Photo Surfaces of Justin Trudeau in Blackface



Jaybird is Birdmojo on Xbox Live and Jaybirdmojo on Playstation's network. He's been playing consoles since the Atari 2600 and it was Zork that taught him how to touch-type. If you've got a song for Wednesday, a commercial for Saturday, a recommendation for Tuesday, an essay for Monday, or, heck, just a handful a questions, fire off an email to

Related Post Roulette

43 Responses

  1. Avatar Jaybird says:

    Personally, I think he should get a pass on this.

    Canada doesn’t have the same history of racism as the US does and they’re, like, 25 years behind us anyway. So this is like someone in the US doing blackface in the early 70’s.Report

  2. Avatar Jaybird says:

    Looks like there was a third incident.


  3. Avatar Aaron David says:

    This made me genuinely lol:


  4. Avatar Chip Daniels says:

    Justin Trudeau is younger than I am.

    I can’t believe that there were all these blackface and minstrel shows going on when I was in college, like it was just something the kids were all doing.

    Was I in a bubble?Report

  5. Avatar CJColucci says:

    There’s blackface and there’s blackface. My African-American in-laws and friends tell me they have no problem with blackface that is, for example, a respectful homage to an actual black person (I have threatened for years to do Tina Turner, complete with music, but I’d have to shave my facial hair so I haven’t followed through), but object to stereotypical “coon” portrayals.Report

    • Avatar InMD in reply to CJColucci says:

      Last time we discussed this in the context of Moana Halloween costumes I said my personal belief is that it is only objectively offensive when done as minstrelsy, for purposes of intentionally mocking other races using stereotypes. I still think thats the case. People know the difference between being a jerk and harmless silliness, whatever the scolds on the internet or in universities may say.Report

    • I have a white friend who, several years ago, went to a Hallowe’en party dressed as an African American singer/performer. It was only after he had gone to the party that he realized he had been doing “black face.” He was horrified with himself, even though he knew, and most of us knew, that he wasn’t doing it to play to stereotypes or to make caricatures. He genuinely respected that performer. (He’s also far from the type of person who’d want to promote racist stereotypes.)

      I think one reason he felt bad about it was that since most of his (and my) social circle was/is white, we realize we don’t have the standing to do that type of thing.Report

  6. Avatar Jaybird says:

    This is *NOT* a good headline:

    Justin Trudeau says he does not know how many times he’s worn blackface in his life

    If we’re lucky, they were all respectful homages to actual black people.Report

    • as I twittered earlier, that’s politispeak for “there is more out there”Report

    • Avatar gabriel conroy in reply to Jaybird says:

      The optics are bad, of course, but I’m not sure exactly what it says. He did something bad x years ago and has now apologized for it, recognizing that it was bad and why it was bad.

      Now, it appears he did essentially the same thing, maybe several times, earlier than x years ago. It doesn’t appear to me as if he still does it or still endorses it.

      I’ll admit that the quote Aaron David relates above suggests something questionable about Trudeau’s current attitudes, and it sounds a little non-apology-apology-esque, but I’d need more before condemning the prime minister on that score.Report

  7. Avatar Jaybird says:

    Okay, this was funny:


  8. Avatar Jaybird says:

    This is why it’s important to not cancel politicians when blackface photos surface but support them:


  9. Avatar LeeEsq says:

    A big problem with modern liberal and progressive politics is that requires a Parliament of Saints and even an Electorate of Saints. That is a body politic filled with humble self-effacing hard working people that never do or say anything wrong. The Nordic countries but everybody else has not. So we need to decide what dumb young things are forgivable and what are not. Trudeau’s brown face Arabian nights costume seems to lean towards the bad side for me but what if he decided to go as Jack the Ripper? Should he be attacked for glorifying violence against women? Jack the Ripper seems more acceptable than Arabian nights but I can see how people will hate it. What hijinks should we give a pass to and what should we not?Report

  10. Avatar Rufus F. says:

    This really has been the Year of Blackface. Like others have said, I’m struck by the fact that I grew up in the same era as many politicians, but haven’t been to parties where anyone wore blackface. I’m almost embarrassed to say that, outside of movies, I’ve never seen anyone wearing blackface. The Liberal slogan was “We’ve got your back.” I think they should add “And, if you’re a person of color, we’ve got your face too!”Report

    • Judging from other things you’ve written, I’m probably roughly the same age as you. Other than the example I related above (which was, maybe, 2007-ish?), I don’t recall seeing blackface outside of movies or tv shows.** I’m not–and never have been–a habitue or fan of costume parties, so it’s possible that blackface was a thing and I just never (to my recollection) personally encountered it until the example I mentioned above.

      **I remember an episode of Gimmie a Break where one of the characters had the boy character dress up in blackface. The intended message of the scene/episode was that blackface is definitely not okay and was basically the same as using the n-word.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to gabriel conroy says:

        (Holy cow! That episode is googleable and Nell’s speech is on YouTube!)Report

        • Avatar gabriel conroy in reply to Jaybird says:

          For some probably random reasons, over the last couple weeks, I’ve been thinking of that show, not just that episode, but the show in general.

          For all the problems that a sitcom of that type has and for its own function as a way to endorse certain racial stereotypes….I find that at its best, it did try to grapple with racism and promote an anti-racist argument in a realistic, or at least verisimilar way.Report

          • Avatar Jaybird in reply to gabriel conroy says:

            Part of the problem is that The Critics and The Audience have two entirely different things that speak deeply to them. The Critics are smart, educated, and hip deep in the various tools and tropes that writers use to tell a story/make a point.

            The Audience is dumb.

            And so something like Gimme a Break, to The Critics, was seen as jejune.
            And The Audience saw that show and said “holy crap, I’ve never seen it that way before.”Report

            • Avatar gabriel conroy in reply to Jaybird says:

              I think that’s right.

              Another part of the problem, in my opinion, is this working hypothesis of mine (apologies, because I’ve probably said this before):

              When a marginalized group is represented in culture, especially popular culture, that representation is tragically destined to be in some ways false or dangerous or inaccurate, or it’s destined to function as serving some nefarious end. I say “tragically” because the fact that the creator of that representation doesn’t intend it to have that function doesn’t matter or prevent it from having that function. (I hope that’s clear.)Report

            • Avatar gabriel conroy in reply to Jaybird says:

              And The Audience saw that show and said “holy crap, I’ve never seen it that way before.”

              I was a member of the Dumb Audience.I was probably a preteen when I saw that episode? (I don’t remember if I saw it when it came out or as a rerun.)

              I remember not understanding why it was so offensive. The kid was just doing a reprise of the old Jazz Singer scene (somehow, I knew of that movie, and that scene, as an example of early sound in films….not entirely sure how or why I knew about that.)

              But I at least learned that some people found it racially offensive, even though I didn’t know why.

              Now that I’m older and (I hope, in some ways) wiser, I have a better understanding.

              tl;dr: that show and that episode taught me something valuable.

              ETA: googling the show, it probably first came out when I was 9 or 10. But again, I don’t know if I saw it as a rerun or as an original airing. (Not that it’s relevant to this discussion, but my father didn’t like me watching a show with n—ers in it. That was was the word he used. In that family context, such shows had a greater educational effect, for me, than perhaps it did for others, in different contexts.)Report

  11. Avatar Jaybird says:

    Seen on the internets:


  12. Avatar dragonfrog says:

    This doesn’t exactly shock me – Trudeau always seemed like exactly the kind of former wealthy frat boy who’d have done this kind of doltish things in his youth and even not-so-youth.

    I tell you what, I’m already sick of this election and there’s still a month to go.

    Now of course Scheer – who’s probably more of a heartfelt bigot than Trudeau – is making hay off this – this shocking revelation shows Trudeau is unfit to govern yadda yadda.

    I would normally have assumed Scheer’s team had dug this up years ago and were sitting on it for release at just the right moment – but Scheer’s own recent conduct doesn’t line up with his knowing this was going to drop in a few days.

    He was asked a week or so ago what he would do if it were revealed that his own candidates had some background of extreme bigotry of some kind (not exactly a far fetched possibility – many CPC figures seem to have been quite cozy with Faith Goldy, well past the point where anyone could read her trajectory to being a public voice for white supremacism, for example). His answer was that he would allow them to stay on as candidates as long as they apologized.

    Of course he could have predicted Trudeau would apologize – wouldn’t it have made sense for Scheer to position himself as the principled one by saying an apology woudn’t be enough for a CPC candidate either?Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to dragonfrog says:


      “He was asked a week or so ago”… was he asked by someone associated with the blackface story?Report

      • Avatar dragonfrog in reply to Jaybird says:

        It was in a news conference on the 15th, on his campaign plane – so, his own campaign team’s approved journalists. The first blackface photo came out in Time magazine on the 18th. I don’t know whether a Time reporter was on the plane or who in particular asked the question.

        Hence my guess that Scheer was just as surprised by this as the rest of us, and was going off the otherwise most likely scenario – that the CPC would have more, worse, and more recent instances of bigotry by more prominent candidates, than the LPC.Report

      • Avatar dragonfrog in reply to Jaybird says:

        Hm, my reply seems to have vanished – sorry if this now shows up as a duplicate.

        He gave the answer on the 15th during a press conference on his campaign plane, so one of his campaign’s approved fly-along reporters asked the question. The first blackface photo came out on the 18th in Time magazine. I don’t know who in particular asked the question or whether there was a Time reporter on the flight.

        Hence my guess that Scheer was just as surprised by this as the rest of us, and was going on the then-likeliest assumption that the CPC would have a history of bigotry by its candidates that was more widespread, worse, more recent, and / or involved more prominent candidates, than the LPC.

        I’m obviously quite biased, being a lifelong NDP supporter, but I’m liking Jagmeet Singh’s responses to this more and more.Report

        • Avatar Jaybird in reply to dragonfrog says:

          I dug up your original.

          Oh, I agree with your take that Scheer had no idea that this was coming.

          I was merely idly curious if the person who asked Scheer the question knew that it was coming and whether this thought that it’d be a good idea to get Scheer on the record before everything became public knowledge.Report

  13. Avatar Jaybird says:

    I admit: I had thought that “Sexy Dead Jeffrey Epstein” was going to be the most tasteless Halloween costume this year but I now realize that “Sexy Justin Trudeau In Blackface” has quickly supplanted it.Report