Canadians are warning each other not to dress up as Justin Trudeau for Halloween
Just because a man who was famously embroiled in a racist photo scandal less than a month ago got re-elected as Canada's Prime Minister on Monday doesn't mean that blackface is ever okay.
Justin Trudeau, whose Liberal party secured a minority government in this year's federal election, will (now) be the first to tell you how problematic it is to paint one's skin a darker colour.
"Darkening your face, regardless of the context of the circumstances, is always unacceptable because of the racist history of blackface," said Trudeau in an apology speech on September 19 after old photos leaked of the PM in three different black or brownface costumes.
"I should have understood that then, and I never should have done it."
You know who else shouldn't do it? Literally anyone. Not as a joke, not as a statement, and especially not under the weak guise of dressing as "blackface Justin Trudeau" for Halloween.
And yet, I'd bet you $1,000 right now that at least one Trudeau-in-blackface costume makes its way out to a party on Halloween night — if not in Canada, then certainly somewhere in The U.S.
Hundreds of people on Twitter have already cracked what I hope are jokes about doing it, some with their own "starter packs" and DIY blackface makeup tips.
Sorted my Justin Trudeau costume for Halloween. pic.twitter.com/vRxwmOfv4Z— Oliver Gilford (@Oliver_Gilford) October 23, 2019
A few seem to be sincerely asking if it's okay to paint their skin darker when they're doing it for a costume of Trudeau as seen in his old racist pictures.
"Is it ok to go chocolate face for Halloween if your costume is Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in chocolate face?" wrote one person on Twitter. "Asking for a friend."
"Okay okay been thinking about Halloween costumes," wrote another. "Is it blackface to be 'Justin Trudeau in blackface'???"
Yes, yes, yes, according to many other Twitter users who are preemptively warning their peers not to don blackface as Trudeau this Halloween.
“should i go as blackface justin trudeau for halloween?”— Mike Solana (@micsolana) September 25, 2019
“even if i’m commenting on race and privilege in contemporary western politics?”
For every person floating the idea of doing "Trudeau-as-Alladin" or "Trudeau-as-black-man-singing-Day O" for Halloween, there are at least two more saying "please no."
"I don't know who needs to hear this, but 'Justin Trudeau in blackface/brownface' is not an acceptable or hilarious Halloween costume idea (okay, I know *exactly* who needs to hear this — you know, besides the PM)," wrote one Twitter user this week.
"I know somebody out there is thinking about doing Justin Trudeau in blackface as an ironic Halloween costume and let me be a friend to you in this moment and give you some important advice," wrote someone else. "Don't."
It occurs to me that morons all over Canada are currently planning their 'topical' brown or blackface Halloween costume as I type this.— Cliff (@RustyIdols) September 28, 2019
Some quick, doubtless to be ignored advice.
No, there is no 'its a satire on what Trudeau did' exception.
Don't do it.#Cdnpoli
Some people are saying that the "Trudeau in black or brownface" costume might work, but only under one very strict condition: That the person wearing it is a person of colour to begin with.
"Halloween costume idea for my fellow brown people: 1. Dress up like a prince 2. Wear a sign that says 'Justin Trudeau, circa 2001,'" advised one Canadian.
"With Halloween approaching I'd like to reiterate that you should never alter the appearance of your skin for a costume UNLESS you're a POC going as Justin Trudeau," wrote another.
"Pretty sure that would be okay and hilarious."
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