AGAR: Double standard's obvious on blackface and Trudeau

A photo of Justin Trudeau at West Point Grey Academy's 2001 "Arabian Nights" gala published in the school's ViewPoints newsletter that April.

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What are the chances blackface will be a Halloween costume this year?

A week ago I would not have asked that question.

A week ago I believed changing your skin colour to impersonate another race is always wrong.

How times have changed.

It was 1993 when actor Ted Danson infamously appeared in blackface. He did it at a Friars Club roast, an event that was well known for raucous humour in a closed — no recording or reporting — environment where attendees and performers expected material not suitable for general public display.

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Yet due to Danson performing in blackface, the great movie reviewer Roger Ebert reported at the time that the crowd was “appalled.” That was 26 years ago.

But apparently the idea that blackface is wrong in all circumstances is so yesterday.

By now you are possibly aware that Humber River-Black Creek Liberal candidate Judy Sgro, appearing on an Internet talk show, said that the black community in her riding told her they have “much more love” for Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau because he “wanted to have blackface” and that the media “have blown this into something that it shouldn’t be.”

Host Jacqueline Dixon responded to those comments by saying, “It’s good to hear that.”

I bring it up again, despite Sgro’s quick apology when the comments reached a wider audience through mainstream media like my Newstalk1010 radio show, because apparently what I have been told all these years is no longer true.

I was shocked by the number of people contacting me to say that they, as black people, did not disagree with Sgro.

Newstalk1010 reporter Hayley Cooper went to Humber River-Black Creek and found that many visible minorities agreed with Sgro. So why did Sgro apologize?

But then, maybe it’s me. Perhaps I am just that out-of-tune white guy who got the memo back in the day and, like trying to follow the comings and goings of boy bands, I just didn’t keep up.

I was accused by several people of trying to tell black people how to think. I would never do that. I was just trying to process — not Sgro’s political ramblings, but this new message that blackface is not wrong in all circumstances, that it is now circumstantial.

If that is the case, I am left with further confusion. Where do I get the new memo? Who has the rules?

If it is OK for Justin when, if ever, is it OK for me? If never for me and always apparently for him, why?

Is there a list of “approved” white folk?

There isn’t. What’s in play is a double standard and hypocrisy. Not all visible minorities agree, of course.

Double standards should always be called out and mocked. That is why some white people told me they’d dress in blackface for Halloween this year.

Someone challenged me to do blackface for the radio station’s Instagram page, believing I am the right guy to mock the double standard. Um, no. The result is predictable.

To be clear, white people trying to mock the point by dressing in blackface for Halloween is inadvisable.

Many people actually would be hurt and offended and you can be certain the double standard would unfairly raise its ugly head again.

To the sycophantic Trudeau lovers — the hypocrites — I see you.

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