Is the Liberal prime minister Tru-done? Global News has authenticated a third incident of Justin Trudeau in blackface, following a Time Magazine exposé just a day ago over the first. Trudeau had warned of a second high-school blackface incident, but Global News reports that this is another altogether — and has apparently confirmed that with Liberal leadership:
The video, obtained exclusively by Global News, shows Trudeau covered in what appears to be dark makeup and raising his hands in the air while laughing, sticking his tongue out and making faces. He’s wearing a white T-shirt, and his jeans are ripped at the knees. It appears as though his arms and legs are covered in makeup as well. It does not appear the video was shot at the same time and place of the other photos of Trudeau in racist make-up that have emerged in the past 24 hours.
Global News initially obtained the video from a source earlier this week but had been attempting to verify it before publishing. A senior member of the Liberal campaign confirmed it was Trudeau early Thursday morning but would not comment further, simply referring Global News back to Trudeau’s comments on the matter from Wednesday evening. The source did not shoot the video but Global News subsequently reached the person believed to have shot the video. That person would not confirm or deny that it was Trudeau in the video or the time and place of the video.
The few frames of video are the third such instance of Trudeau in brown or blackface to come out in fewer than 24 hours.
Needless to say, this comes at a very bad time for the Liberal Party leader. He just called for elections, as The Hill notes, and this isn’t the only scandal for which Trudeau has to answer to voters either:
The new controversy emerges at a delicate time for Trudeau, who is campaigning ahead of a reelection bid on Oct. 21.
He’s already facing a separate scandal after a Canadian ethics commissioner released a report last month that found he violated ethics rules when he tried to pressure his former justice minister and attorney general to drop charges against a Quebec-based company.
Needless to say, just one of these photos or videos are usually enough to derail a political career. Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam has thus far remained in office despite a blackface photo in his high-school yearbook, but he can’t run for a second term and isn’t likely to win any other office in the future. Had Trudeau not called an election, he might have had the option of keeping his head down and waiting for the scandal to pass, too.
Of course, that assumes that the scandal only involved one or two incidents. Within less than a day, people have dug up three on Trudeau. How many more are out there? Does Trudeau himself even know? He tried to pre-empt the sensationalism of the second by admitting to it before it emerged, which was supposed to make him look honest and repentant. Now it looks more calculated and strategic than honest, and if more come out it will backfire even further.
Or will it? The Global News anchor summed up the situation well:
Justin Trudeau has a history of progressive policies, appointing people to Cabinet, where he’s demonstrated that he is trying to be diverse. What happens now that videos like this come out? The incident in high school — he was in high school. The incident here — he is not in high school, and the other incident he was a teacher. So you’re now looking at three separate incidents. That becomes much harder to explain.
I’d guess that they’ll use that first sentence to explain away the rest. Hey, he’s a progressive so he can’t actually be a racist! Northam tried that strategy too in an attempt to stave off demands for his resignation, and … it seemed to work pretty well. Of course, having the next person in line get accused of two sexual assaults might explain why the national news media lost interest in Northam’s blackface history, too. Let’s see what the Grits come up with in response.
Update: Score one for the Global News anchor’s prognostication skills, via Twitchy:
By golly, it's a red letter day for media coining new toned-down euphemisms for "blackface"https://t.co/WiSR2j61IK
— David Burge (@iowahawkblog) September 19, 2019
We went from brownface to face-darkening. What next, overly tanned face? https://t.co/8urpxiJ5rt
— Noam Blum (@neontaster) September 19, 2019