Over the course of the past few years, I’ve been involved in an increasing number of troubling dialogues regarding the use of blackface by politicians. While these problems are across the aisle, we seem to have a consistent challenge from liberal leaders like governor Ralph Northam of Virginia, and now Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada. Time magazine recently reported that in 2001 at an Arabian Nights themed party, Justin Trudeau chose to wear brownface. To make it worse, he was alleged to be the ONLY person there in the offensive makeup.
This is troubling because it comes at a time when we’re seeing heightened tensions in the Middle East once again and continual tone-deafness from the media. What we don’t need alongside the diatribes from analysts who fail to comprehend the role of Saudi Arabia in stemming terrorism is liberal western leaders who have talked big talk about diversity, but always end up showing us this, instead: FYI – That’s current Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, in the middle.
Saudi Arabia is currently leading a 55 majority Muslim country coalition against terror. In the past few years, they have reestablished diplomatic ties with Iraq and have been working on one of the few deradicalization programs in the world that have proven results.
We hear a lot of lip service done in the name of diversity. You can simply look at the receipts of thise non-action in Canada and see a failure to not only try and understand and respect Arab cultures but a failure of policy when it comes to the people in the Middle East.
So when brown face images like this surface from a Prime Minister that has had scandal after scandal in his administration, coupled with biased treatment of Arab states, it paints a picture to the Middle East that Canada will say one thing to please people but still looks at Arabs as second class citizens. It also underscores why we need new directions and new strategies in working with Arab partners in the face of increasing threats from terror states like Iran. As someone whose father’s lineage is Saudi Arabian, I am just utterly disgusted.
Oh and PS, Justin – here’s what traditional Arab dress really looks like: