I let a lot of people down Day after brownface photo published

Liberal leader Justin Trudeau prior to speaking at a town hall in in Saskatoon, SK on Thursday, September 19, 2019. time.com Liam Richards / Saskatoon StarPhoenix Liam Richards / Saskatoon StarPhoenix Donovan Horvey described himself as a Liberal supporter whose voting decision is made. He said the painted skin controversy won’t change it.“I really personally don’t look that down upon it,” Horvey said.The Aladdin picture was taken at an Arabian Nights-themed dinner for teachers, parents and administrators at a Vancouver private school. The photo appeared in the 2000-01 yearbook for West Point Grey Academy, reported Time, where Trudeau taught drama, French and math. The photo depicts the 29-year-old Trudeau alongside four young women — his hands draped over one of them. He is wearing a turban and robe, with dark makeup on his hands, face and neck.Rhonda Rosenberg, the executive director of the Multicultural Council of Saskatchewan, said her organization’s position has always been that “cultures are not costumes,” and that everyone is responsible for combating racism.Avish Nanda of Everyone’s Canada, an Edmonton-based non-profit, said Trudeau’s apology is only a starting point.“This is part of a broader narrative, a broader trend in this country, that we need to confront,” Nanda said. Liam Richards / Saskatoon StarPhoenix Rather than starting and ending his day with another Liberal promise amid much fanfare, Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau began and finished day nine of the federal election having conversations with his candidates, the community and with his three children about the multiple times he has dressed in blackface and brownface.Trudeau spent Thursday, first in Winnipeg and then Saskatoon, dealing with the fallout from the release of a 2001 photo that was taken when he was a 29-year-old teacher. The bombshell picture showing Trudeau in an Aladdin costume with brownface makeup, wearing a turban and surrounded by four women, was published Wednesday by Time magazine.Trudeau said his decision to wear brownface and blackface on multiple occasions was “deeply regrettable.” Hundreds of people lined up to see Justin Trudeau’s appearance in Saskatoon on Sept. 19, 2019 as part of his federal election campaign. Condemnation of Trudeau was not universal, however. Sikh Society of Regina’s Bikramjit (Bill) Singh said he does not believe the Liberal leader made a mistake or hurt anyone’s feelings. In fact, Singh said, he “wasn’t even sure why (Trudeau) apologized for that.“My feelings: when you’re a kid, you do a lot of stupid things,” Singh said.Regina-Wascana MP Ralph Goodale said those who saw the picture would not feel “anything but great sadness and regret.” At the same time, Goodale expects support to be “very broad and very deep” for Trudeau.“I think the party and the public will expect to see a very strong and sincere and effective effort to heal the wounds, and (Trudeau) has already started in that direction. He’s been very clear. There’s no obfuscation or no excuse; totally assumed the responsibility that is necessary. And now dealing with repairing.”— With Saskatoon StarPhoenix files from Dave Deibert, Regina Leader-Post files from Arthur White-Crummey, National Post files and Canadian Press filesRelated Liberal leader Justin Trudeau speaks at a town hall in in Saskatoon, SK on Thursday, September 19, 2019. “We’re losing jobs here,” he said, referencing the struggles faced in recent years in the Western Canadian oil and gas sector.During the town hall, Trudeau also faced a question about what the government is doing to help protect the climate, from which he quickly segue into a discussion about his government’s controversial carbon tax.“No one can pretend to have a plan for the future and the economy if they do not have a plan to protect the environment for future generations as well,” he responded adding that the Conservative’s under Andrew Scheer “want to make pollution free again.”He also noted that the current tax rebate in place for the carbon tax in Saskatchewan will continue putting money back in the pockets of families. Zak Vescera / Saskatoon StarPhoenix On Wednesday, hours after the picture was published, Trudeau — long billed as a champion of inclusivity and tolerance — said it “was something that I didn’t think was racist at the time, but now I recognize, it was something racist to do.”Trudeau on Wednesday apologized for wearing the costume to a theme gala at the school where he taught at the time. He also admitted to wearing blackface — he referred to it as “makeup” — for a performance when he was in high school, singing Harry Belafonte’s “Banana Boat Song (Day O).” That apology and confession was soon followed by the release of another image and a video, first reported by Global News, of a third instance of Trudeau in skin-darkening face paint, which the Liberals said was from the early 1990s. Trudeau on Wednesday night only acknowledged the Aladdin and Belafonte incidents.On Thursday in Winnipeg, Trudeau did not provide a direct response when asked if there were other similar incidents.“I didn’t understand how hurtful this is to people who live with discrimination every day,” he said, acknowledging that he grew up with great privilege which he claimed created a “massive blindspot.”Trudeau said that when he entered politics, he never told anyone he had worn blackface or brownface.“Quite frankly, I was embarrassed,” he said.After taking questions from reporters in Winnipeg, he travelled to Saskatoon for a town hall. More than one hour before Trudeau was set to appear, hundreds of people — mostly supporters — were lined up to get in for the standing room-only event.Trudeau was introduced, to chants and cheers, at the town hall by Tammy Cook-Searson, the Liberal candidate for Desnethé–Missinippi–Churchill River, who touted Trudeau’s record on Indigenous issues including lifting numerous drinking water advisories and building homes on reserves.“This is a record of reconciliation,” Cook-Searson said.Jurell Parris said that as a black man he found Trudeau’s actions offensive and disappointing. Parris said he’s not voting for a person, but rather for a party. He was attending Thursday’s event in Saskatoon to hear what policies that Liberals will bring forward, especially in the technology sector.David Snider was among the protestors displaying an “I Love Canadian Oil and Gas” banner. He said he was there to protest the Liberal government. A photo posted online by TIme with the following caption “Justin Trudeau, now the prime minister of Canada, appears in dark makeup on his face, neck and hands at a 2001 “Arabian Nights”-themed party at the West Point Grey Academy, the private school where he taught.” During a question and answer period during the town hall in Saskatoon Thursday evening, an attendee asked Trudeau to “round to the nearest five,” referring to how many times Trudeau had appeared in black or brownface in the past.Trudeau responded that he did not want to make light of the situation as “far too many people in this country face discrimination on a daily basis.”“What I did was inexcusable and wrong,” Trudeau told the crowd. “And it hurt a lot of people who consider me an ally and that is wrong — I am deeply, deeply sorry … As we move forward as a country, as I move forward and continue to fight against intolerance and racism with my actions, I also take responsibility for the fact that I lacked respect towards people who already face tremendous discrimination and that is something that I apologize for.” Liberal leader Justin Trudeau speaks at a town hall in in Saskatoon, SK on Thursday, September 19, 2019. ‘I’m really sorry’: Justin Trudeau admits wearing brownface at 2001 costume party Third instance of Trudeau in skin-darkening makeup emerges; new video said to have been filmed in ’90s Christie Blatchford: Trudeau cuts himself the slack he has denied to others Federal election 2019 roundup: ‘An apology based on a lie is not a real apology,’ Scheer says Complete coverage: 2019 election Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau addresses the media on Sept. 19, 2019 regarding photos and video that have surfaced in which he is wearing blackface and brownface in the 1990s and 2000s. SHANNON VANRAES / REUTERS


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