Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who has been documented wearing blackface and brownface, was mocked after celebrating Emancipation Day, posting a message acknowledging the “painful history of slavery in Canada” and celebrating “the strength of Black communities.”
Today, we acknowledge the painful history of slavery in Canada. We also celebrate the strength of Black communities, who fought – and continue to fight – for justice and equality. Together, let’s keep building a more inclusive Canada. #EmancipationDay https://t.co/j74xyImflw
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) August 1, 2022
When Trudeau was 29, he dressed as Aladdin at a an Arabian-Nights-themed annual dinner at an expensive Vancouver private school, wearing brownface makeup. The photo was displayed in the 2000-01 yearbook for West Point Grey Academy. When he was in high school, he wore blackface to apparently pose as famed singer Harry Belafonte.
When the photo of Trudeau was revealed in 2019, Andrew Scheer, the Conservative party leader, reacted, “I was extremely shocked and disappointed when I learned of Justin Trudeau’s actions. Wearing brownface is an act of open mockery. It was just as racist in 2001 as it is in 2019. What Canadians saw this evening was someone with a complete lack of judgment and someone who is not fit to govern this country,” the National Post reported.
Social media reacted to Trudeau’s celebratory tweet:
“Gaslighting racist! You dress in blackface. You grope women. You fire indigenous women. You implement racist vaccine policies. YOU ARE THE RACIST,” one user tweeted.
Gaslighting racist! You dress in blackface. You grope women. You fire indigenous women. You implement racist vaccine policies.
YOU ARE THE RACIST!
— Viva Frei (@thevivafrei) August 1, 2022
“You have made Canada a not inclusive place for unvaccinated people. I haven’t been back to Canada for 2.5 years because of your racist and biggoted policies. And I don’t need lectures from someone that does Blackface on these issues,” another added.
You have made Canada a not inclusive place for unvaccinated people. I haven't been back to Canada for 2.5 years because of your racist and biggoted policies. And I don't need lectures from someone that does Blackface on these issues. pic.twitter.com/5GK2YeH56J
— Nina Infinity (@Nina7Infinity) August 1, 2022
— WEXIT Barbie (@WEXITBarbie) August 1, 2022
The tweet about firing indigenous women referenced Jody Wilson-Raybould, Canada’s first indigenous attorney general and minister of justice. It had been reported that Trudeau’s office had attempted to force her to help a construction company avoid a corruption trial.
In her book, “‘Indian’ in the Cabinet: Speaking Truth to Power,” Wilson-Raybould wrote of a meeting with Trudeau three days after the front-page story in The Globe and Mail broke.
As soon as the story broke, the Prime Minister said that “the allegations in The Globe story this morning are false. Neither the current nor the previous attorney-general was ever directed by me or by anyone in my office to take a decision in this matter.”
At a second meeting, she recalled, “He asked if I trusted him. He also asked if I trusted his judgment to build a team. … ‘I want to believe in you and trust in you,’ I replied. ‘But it is hard to separate the two questions. I do not trust the people around you any longer.’”
“I could see the agitation visibly building in the Prime Minister,” she continued. “His mood was shifting. I remember seeing it. I remember feeling it. I had seen and felt this before on a few occasions, when he would get frustrated and angry. But this was different. He became strident and disputed everything I had said. He made it clear that everyone in his office was telling the truth and that I, and by extension Jessica Prince, my chief of staff, and others, were not. He told me I had not experienced what I said I did. He used the line that would later become public, that I had ‘experienced things differently.’”
“I knew what he was really asking,” she wrote. “What he was saying. In that moment, I knew he wanted me to lie – to attest that what had occurred had not occurred.”
Wilson-Raybould asserted that her ultimate resignation and everything prior to it “would lead to him tossing me out of the Liberal caucus and then removing me as the confirmed Liberal candidate for Vancouver Granville in the 2019 general election.”