Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has apologized after an image surfaced of him dressed in brownface for a costume party.
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Canadian premier Justin Trudeau has had to prostrate himself with groveling apologies for past "racist behavior" when, as a younger man, he showed a penchant for donning turbans and skin-darkening make-up for school galas.
Fair enough, the self-proclaimed champion of "liberal values" should be subjected to a bit of public pillorying given that his youthful minstrel days of imitating people of color flatly contradict his more recent years of virtue-signaling.
Since Trudeau (47) was elected as prime minister in 2015, he has made a big deal about promoting human rights as well as gender and ethnic equality. On international relations, he talks about Canada having a "feminist foreign policy."
At a superficial level, this guy is the apotheosis of lefty, liberal sensibilities. He shares a darling image among the liberal media along with France's Emmanuel Macron. Both politicians are adept at using rhetoric apparently dedicated to social justice, ecology and internationalism. These guys are adored by the Hollywood-type 'woke' liberals and Me Too zealots as the embodiment of virtue, in opposition to the likes of uncouth President Donald Trump.
So, it is indeed amusing to see the squeaky-clean image of Justin Trudeau being dragged through the mud and for him to beg for forgiveness over past transgressions of his self-proclaimed values.
Nevertheless, the furore gripping Canada's media and political class over Trudeau's past seems to be way over the top.
Of course, with elections due next month, it is to be expected that opposition parties are exploiting bad publicity for the leader of the Liberal Party. Edging ahead in the polls is the Conservative Party, led by Andrew Scheer. He professed to be "extremely shocked and disappointed" by the racist make-up photos of Trudeau dating from nearly 18 years ago, when, as a 29-year-old, Trudeau had been working as a teacher at an elite private college before taking up politics.
Scheer said the photos showed Trudeau was "unfit to govern" and the prankish images called into question his judgement.
Other opposition parties have also joined the fray in lambasting the prime minister. The debacle may cost him his re-election bid.
However, surely the scandal is a storm in a teacup and riddled with hypocrisy among Canada's political class.
Conservative leader Scheer has recently been accused of turning a blind eye to growing racist and xenophobic ranks within his own party.
The sound and fury over Trudeau's past indiscretions bears a distinct sense of contrived outrage and self-serving sanctimony.
For on actually important issues of racism and human rights, the Canadian political and media establishment are all culpable of systematic denial.
Take the issue of Canada's indigenous nations. The Canadian state has balked at providing substantial reparation for centuries of persecution and marginalization. Arguably, the native populations were subjected to a policy of genocide by successive Canadian governments, which were dominated by European immigrants.