Snippets from a dialogue about Trudeau, blackface, brownface:
Steve: Just wondering what you thought of the Trudeau affair [wearing blackface]? I was disturbed by what he did, the age he did it at and where he did it. It laid open so much of what is in all of us. What bothers me the most was that the conversation about our prejudices and stereotypes, having been laid open at such a public level, was so quickly dropped. He asked for forgiveness, it was largely granted, and then the news cycle moved on. Why was forgiveness granted so quickly? Why? Because we are all guilty of the same crimes. Why weren’t the core issues challenged and committees set up to explore them. Not just in Justin but in us. How can we promote ourselves to the world as this wonderful multicultural, enlightened nation when we can’t even explore the hidden prejudices that make that not very true. The moment seems to have been lost. I wonder also if the news cycle has made us all a bit attention deficit disordered?
Ron: I no longer watch the news on TV. I only read the news. I feel less jerked around that way. Yes, Justin asked for forgiveness, but media do not grant forgiveness. Black people do, or don’t. Actually, he was imitating Aladdin, right? So brown people. But you’re right, seems to me that Canadians forgive more readily and easily than Americans do. Slavery helped build this country, especially southern Ontario, the part you live in, also in Nova Scotia. But slavery in Canada is not what it was (and is) in the US. The Civil War is still going on the States.Trump just announced that impeachment could lead to a civil war. Should there be public discussions about racism in Canada? For sure. Usually these discussion only happen during Black History month, and usually only among Black people. We white people need to face and talk about our racism. I wrote “The Backsides of White Souls” to provoke this kind of discussion. Did that happen? Not really, not in Canada, not in the US.
A good article about the issue, “Brownface, Blackface, and About Face.”