Image from HuckMag
Trudeau's Historical Racism
It's just not a Liberal thing to be seen doing.
But it does put this into perspective:
Vice: Queen's Students Grapple With Being Called Out For Their Racist Party
In other words, it's not a partisan trait.
The Vice article says that "most of the party defenders were white". But not all? And no word from those who were not "white"? I mean now; not then, because, back then, they very likely would not have wanted to create a fuss and draw negative attention to themselves.
In the case of Trudeau (see Star item below) one might not want to believe their erstwhile hero could really be all that bad. Forget that he was accused of inappropriately touching a woman, though he "said that while he is confident he did not do anything wrong, he acknowledged that the woman in question may not see it that way".
And sure enough, some women don't because apparently it happened again elsewhere, but with a more lenient response. Not at all like the "brown/black" face incident.
Or is it?
The Toronto Star: Complete and Utter Disappointment: Voters React to Images of Trudeau in Brown and Blackface photos.
The Star seems to contradict its own headline:
That doesn't sound like "complete and utter disappointment" to me. I'd call it rationalization.
For those, of whatever race/colour/sex who voted for Trudeau in the last election, he is still considered a valid choice. They have to believe he is because what other choice is there? They want to believe that what he projected in the House is truly his current stance.
In other words, all we can do is pretend he's "born again", and forgive him his past deeds.
Well, one of Justin's actions in government was to visit India and behave in a condescending fashion by dressing his whole family in traditional garb and Namaste-ing all over the place.
There is nothing more fake and affected (and possibly reverse-racist), in my estimation, than seeing any "white" westerner close any discussion with a solemn Namaste.
Some other examples of backhanded racism:
Going back to the early 80's: When I was a fundraising coordinator at a theological college, a couple of male reverends (one was the principal of the college) did a musical/dance skit dressed in grass skirts, coconut bras, leis and bare feet. The audience hooted with laughter, but it seemed a bit icky to me, even though in civies they behaved in a more level-headed, human and decent manner than most men of the cloth I'd come across.
Socially aware as well. The Principal, who's now gone to his reward, took a lot of flak when he campaigned against the bad treatment of women (many of whom were Aboriginal) in prison -- a sad fact which was, of course, denied and downplayed. And he always treated me with respect.
So was the Hawaiian skit racist? Well, I don't think anyone was making fun of Hawaiian women. The audience was laughing at two men making fools of themselves.
It's all in how you look at things. Take Hollywood for instance: famous for little more than dress-up and impersonation of all sexes, races, nationalities, ages, you name it. The more "real" it seems, the more we appreciate it. Great acting, we say. He/she really played the part of the insane killer (or the scary African native on the warpath) really well. Meanwhile, killers in prisons everywhere look at it and feel insulted, and Africans wish not to be portrayed as killers. That wasn't me at all, they complain.
YouTube, at this very moment, is charging $4.99 to let you watch the full movie "The Jazz Singer" and nobody of any colour seems to be campaigning against that. But here you can at least watch an excerpt where the black-faced Al Jolson sings the heart-rending "Mammy". It's a bit hackneyed in my estimation.
And if you loved that, here's the Camptown Races with a bevy of "blackface" gents supporting him.
Sure that was all in the past, but they're still showing it, profiting from it, and being favourably commented upon.
I'm here to tell you that, no matter what race/colour you are, you personally are racist.
Admit it. "Blacks" sneer at and make fun of "whitey" all the time. And who is the "white, European" West constantly bellicosing against and attempting to exploit - Asians, Arabs, Persians, Africans ....
In Palestine, Arabs don't trust Jews, and Jews tell their children "Never trust an Arab."
And don't think the people of those countries don't sneer at the clumsy, illiterate, unsophisticated yet better than thou "goy","white" ignoramus(es). I certainly do when I see them strutting around as if they were entitled to own the whole universe.
And, heck, a "black" US president supervised every one of the wars the ignorant, racist moguls slavered after.
Face it; all humans are inherently racist, sexist, classist, generally judgemental. I learned that way back in the 60's when I was chosen president of a group of post-secondary students, one of whom was a "black" female who roundly chewed me out about something I had overlooked that as class president I should have attended to. She was right of course, but I had to ponder why I secretly and deeply resented her criticism. I finally had to admit to myself that it was because she was "black" -- a revelation about me more than about her -- and I had to deal with it.
The thought that crossed my mine was this: I was nice to her when others shunned her; she should have had more gratitude.
Years later, at a reunion, she sat across the dinner table from me and I realized that she was the only person there who had gained in knowledge and zest for life. The rest all looked old and bored and into their various physical ailments. Now, when I think of her, I only recall the joy and fun of that evening instead of the chagrin of the earlier event. We were just two women who had raised our kids, had aged, and still retained a sense of humour and a zest for life. I realized how grateful I was to her that she came out to the dinner and made it so enjoyable.
You have to interact meaningfully with someone -- anyone, regardless of race, colour, sex, etc. -- to experience the similarities -- to get past the inborn animal defence mechanism (or sometimes to heed it if the person turns out to be someone you're better off avoiding).
Admit it, we're all essentially biased in our own favour, wary of the unfamiliar, and need to consciously suspend judgement while familiarizing ourselves with humans and situations not previously known to us.
But most certainly, ostentatiously dressing up in someone else's clothes/colour/customs, food recipes, or even ceremoniously "walking a mile in someone else's shoes" will never solve the problem of "man's" inhumanity to "man", because, in the first place, it's impossible to truly experience anything that any other person experiences due to our own individual responses to similar circumstances.
The solution is to just face facts: no matter who you are or where you come from, or what you look like, or who you have sex with, or what god you pray to, or what kind of food you eat, you're racist, bigoted, sexist, ageist and innately biased against anything different from yourself.
Just try not to act like a wounding idiot -- or worse, a saint like Trudeau.
* * * * * * * *
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