Aladdin & the bad decision

You know the only people who really seemed to care about Justin Trudeau getting dressing up as Aladdin in what was an Arabian Nights themed costume party seem to be white politicians running for office and a news media starved for a story.

Now I had this piece half written a week ago but had to tear it up. While I was composing a measured response to what looked like first it might have political “legs” I came to understand that nobody really cared.

People in high places

Certainly I didn’t outside the observation that Justin Trudeau has a kind of dressing up “habit” that seems to come with people in high places. Remember Prince Harry having a ball at a costume party dressed as a Nazi?

That didn’t make Harry a Nazi and Justin Trudeau in brown face makeup doesn’t make him a racist. It makes him a man dressed as Aladdin going to a themed costume party nearly two decades ago. Hindsight is 20/20 but it was a bad decision. I’ll bet it will be a while before he does that again.

I’ve never been to a costume party and it isn’t on my list. Other people can go.

One of my sons likes them but my family never even had a tradition of costumes at Halloween. A flour sack with holes cut for eyes and a mouth or soot from “the grate” was our costume. The world does change however and if there was a Toga Party when I was at university, well … I might have been in for that .   

Now having said all that and understanding that Trudeau saw no harm in brown face or black face some years ago, things do change. I had a wonderfully enlightening conversation with a working colleague of mine from Toronto who is “first nations.”

He was Cree Indian. There were several other people in the conversation which was about racism in Canada.

Cowboys and Indians

We were all journalists and I offered the opinion that my friends and I played cowboys and Indians when we were growing up and it didn’t seem to be a bad thing. It was naive of me to think that way. My Cree friend wasn’t angry, he just disagreed. He asked me if the cowboys were the good guys and the Indians were the bad guys in our games. Of course it was. My friend asked me to imagine being Cree and watching that in movies or on the playground. His point was well taken.

Justin Trudeau is guilty of nothing more than not thinking things through. He also does seem to have a penchant for dressing up that he might take a look at because it gets him in trouble.

Remember his trip to India when he thought it might be a good idea to dance around in what was traditional Indian dress? Thank God he didn’t show up in oil skins and a sou’wester when he was recently in Newfoundland.

Youthful exuberance doesn’t make Justin Trudeau unfit to be Prime Minister. That is a different issue.

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