By Devanshu Narang in Toronto, ON.
Let’s face it. Justin Trudeau made us sick to the core this week with his Aladdin act. Or perhaps it was a different Justin from the one Liberals pitch: one of the past.
Really? A mature thirty-year-old adult at that time; a teacher and son of one of the most liberal leaders of Canada!
Trudeau’s interaction with visible minorities in the last few years shows that he may have changed, and that his apology may be worthy of acceptance. Yet, he himself has made it difficult to believe him, what with his arrogant behaviour in the entire SNC-Lavlin issue, and his spineless attitude in ditching environmental protection for Alberta’s votes.
Good leaders are known to stand tall for their values, and die for them. Today, Justin comes out clearly as any other politician who believes in survival at all costs. More polished, more charming, more youthful; but a politician still, and definitely one who does not mind changing tracks as needed.
Racism and hypocrisy
The photographs of Justin doing brown/blackface as Aladdin and a Black singer are disturbing. Yet, one could live with them knowing fully well how much racism one sees in everyday life. Thankfully, he did not portray a Black slave led by a KKK person. Thank you Justin for that, and yes I understand that eighteen long years after those photographs were clicked, once they had a catastrophic effect on your campaign, you are extremely apologetic.
What is disturbing is this silence for decades. Why did Trudeau not have the guts to start with a clean state in his campaign four years back and own up to these? Oh yes, because they did not emerge then. It is convenient for a thief to apologise when caught.
What is also more disturbing is Trudeau’s hypocrisy. While he bays for blood of people who seem to err on the path of righteousness and attempts to paint them in black and white, he conveniently forgets that the same standards apply to him. If Andrew Scherer could be painted anti-gay and asked to quit the campaign for his views fifteen years back, then what about Justin now? If he is really ashamed of his acts, he SHOULD offer his resignation.
Justin you have really disappointed us.
But alas Justin, you know as much as we do that we are stuck with you.
Between brownface and the Conservatives
As an immigrant, a supposedly man of colour and a middle class Canadian, I have accepted my second class citizenship as a way of life. But I want to protect whatever rights we are earning inch by inch, and not let them be lost due to an election..
That is what the Liberals understand clearly.
Any immigrant knows that at least in public eye, in their mandate and policies, the parties that stand for immigrants are the Liberals and the NDP. Conservatives have proven that given a chance, they will do anything possible to stop the flow of immigrants, especially ones that do not look White enough. The indignation of Conservatives to immigrants, to diversity, to equality even of LGBTQ community and women is legendary. Remember Harper and his successful attempts in making second class citizens out of many?
It is therefore clearly evident that despite any disgust for Justin, it would be impossible for any self- respecting immigrant to vote Conservative. That is where Canadian democratic process is different from the south, and much better!
We are not voting for a leader/ruler or President, but for Members of Parliament who then elect the majority leader. We should remove the image of Trudeau from our minds, and understand that we are voting for a local party candidate rather than the Prime Minister. Our MPs would then elect their leader, in which hopefully saner voices would prevail.
Even if Justin is trusted again by the Liberals and continues as Prime Minster, that would still ensure a Liberal government which supports a more diverse Canada by enabling a continuous inflow of hard-working immigrants for a growing economy.
This election, let us go back to the basics and forget about a leader-based circus like USA, and instead focus on our individual ridings. Let us elect local leaders who are pro-acceptance, pro-equality and pro-diversity. If we get that right, this nation can continue to be a safe abode for everyone, as Justin’s father envisaged.
We may feel hurt with Justin, but getting the Conservatives back with a Harper protégée is unbearable. If you need any proof, look south to what the orange man is doing.
We still have a long way to go in building a diverse and liberal Canada. The last thing we want is a train-wreck by voting for the wrong party just because we disliked the colour infatuation of one man!