Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appears in this photo, released by Time Magazine, in dark makeup on his face, neck and hands at a 2001 “Arabian Nights”-themed party at Vancouver’s West Point Grey Academy, where he was a teacher. (Time)

FEDERAL ELECTION

ZYTARUK: Trudeau’s handling of black-face embarrassment is surreal

Oops, he did it again

homelessphoto

So let it be written…

Alright, all you white people reading this, raise your right hand if you’ve ever plastered brown or black makeup on your face and masqueraded about as a member of a different race for the purposes of a costume party or some other social gathering.

Never?

Me neither.

And yet our prime minister, Canada’s patron saint-apparent of all that’s politically correct, has apparently done this so many times in his life he’s lost track of the number of occurrences. Apparently.

Oops, he did it again.

When was the last time?

In 2001, when he was 29?

Yesterday? Today?

Only he knows for sure. Maybe. It all just kind of blends in.

The Gospel of Matthew says “all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.”

This has been paraphrased into the more commonly known phrase, “Live by the sword, die by the sword.”

I’m no Biblical scholar, but I think the basic idea behind this proverb is that you will be judged by the same measure you use to judge other people and their stuff.

Canadian columnists, since Time magazine broke the makeup story last week, have described Justin Trudeau as a sanctimonious fraud and a hypocrite.

Here’s a description I haven’t yet encountered: Weird.

Watching Trudeau squirm on television as he desperately seeks to change the channel on this brown-and-blackface crisis of his has been surreal. He is unable in good faith to dismiss his compulsive make-upery as simply sins of his distant past considering he has made a professional career of apologizing for all things colonial, and in the distant past.

This controversy continues to pursue Trudeau along the campaign trail, from one photo op to the next. Surrey’s five incumbent Liberal MPs have to be ruing the damage wrought by their leader’s strange ways.

It’s not the first time he’s made Canada look silly on the world stage with his Mr. Dressup antics, either. You’ll recall in February 2018 when Trudeau hauled out a traditional Sikh outfit from his tickle trunk for a photo op in front of the Golden Temple in Amritsar.

READ ALSO: Surrey Liberal MP candidates react to Trudeau’s brown-and-blackface crisis

READ ALSO ZYTARUK: What other costumes has Mr. Trudeau in his tickle trunk?

To be fair, he isn’t the first public figure to have his strangeness exposed.

Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King had a thing for seances and claimed to have conversed with Leonardo da Vinci (wonder if that chat was in Italian?) as well as some of his own deceased pet dogs (wonder if those communications were in Doggerel?).

Winston Churchill, it’s said, liked to hang out in the buff, drinking Armagnac.

John F. Kennedy had a thing for crystal meth. Dick Cheney accidentally shot a guy with a shotgun during a quail hunt in Texas.

Indeed, some things are unforgettable.

For many Canadians, it will likely be difficult to take Trudeau seriously after this brown-and-blackface mess of his. It may well be an uphill battle for him to get through to them on matters of policy when, in their minds’ eye, they see a bozo.

So let it be done.

Tom Zytaruk is a staff writer with the Now-Leader. Email him at tom.zytaruk@surreynowleader.com

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