Justin Trudeau apologises for past ‘racist’ behaviour


The snaps left him saying he “deeply regretted” his actions adding: “I’m p***** off at myself.” The first image showed Trudeau in 2001 as a 29-year-old teacher. His face and hands are blackened by make-up and he wears an Aladdin costume at an Arabian Nights-themed party at Vancouver’s West Point Grey Academy. After Time magazine published the image, Trudeau said: “I dressed up in an Aladdin costume and put make-up on. I take responsibility for my decision to do that.

“I shouldn’t have done it. I should have known better. It was something that I didn’t think was racist at the time but now I recognise it was something racist to do and I am deeply sorry.”

Trudeau told how he was “more enthusiastic about costumes than is sometimes appropriate”.

The picture was supplied by Vancouver businessman Michael Adamson, who first saw the photograph two months ago and felt it should be made public.

A second photograph surfaced showing the Canadian leader dressed as Harry Belafonte to sing Banana Boat Song (Day-O), a Jamaican dock workers tune.

It was from a talent show at the high school where he graduated in the early 1990s. Later a news channel published a video of him on a third occasion with a black face and raising his hands while laughing, sticking his tongue out and pulling faces. He wears a T-shirt and jeans ripped at the knees as his face, arms and legs are covered in make-up.

The controversy blew up after Trudeau, 47, launched his campaign for re-election, with Canada going to the polls on October 21.

He asked for forgiveness and pledged to keep fighting racism and discrimination. But Conservative leader Andrew Scheer said the images showed “someone with a complete lack of judgment and integrity and someone who is not fit to govern this country”.

Jagmeet Singh, leader of the New Democratic Party, said the image was “troubling” and “insulting”.

Mr Singh, a Sikh, added: “Any time we hear examples of brown face or black face, it’s making a mockery of someone for what they live and what their lived experiences are.

“Who is the real Mr Trudeau? Is it the one behind closed doors, the one when the cameras are turned off that no one sees? Is that the real Mr Trudeau? More and more, it seems like it is.”


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