What’s the Deal With Blackface? [Updated]

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has been engulfed in a blackface controversy, and it couldn’t happen to a more deserving twit. As more old photos and videos tumble out of the closet, the BBC headlines: “Canada’s Justin Trudeau cannot say how often he wore blackface.”

Three or four instances have come to light so far, and Trudeau says there may be more. He really can’t remember, despite being only 47 years old and presumably in full possession of his faculties. Here are a few images of Trudeau in black or brownface:

This one has a Bidenesque quality

This one is quite bizarre and reportedly was accompanied by a strange howling:

This one reportedly is blackface or brownface, although it isn’t obvious from the photo:

I personally see nothing wrong with donning blackface in the context of a party, a Halloween costume, or some such thing. I see it as no different from any other sort of costume, and I don’t understand why it is considered “racist” or demeaning.

On the other hand, I also don’t understand why anyone would do it. It has never occurred to me to don blackface (or brownface), and I have never seen anyone do such a thing. As far as I know, every single person with whom I am acquainted has gone happily through life without painting his or her face black or brown. So why is it that liberal politicians apparently have an unquenchable desire to appear in such makeup?

I can’t explain it. I only note it as in interesting psychological phenomenon. Maybe it tells us something about liberals; then again, maybe it is a quirk randomly distributed through the population. But I suspect the former. Liberals are weird about race, and maybe this is just one more manifestation of that weirdness.

UPDATE: This post wouldn’t be complete without Iowahawk’s contribution:


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