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Justin Trudeau is feeling shame-faced over his blackface, or in his words, “make-up.” Stunning photos and a video surfaced of Trudeau, known for lecturing opposition candidates from a position of moral superiority. In the following 24 hours he would break all of his own rules.


The Liberal campaign machine spent the first week of the 2019 election campaign arguing why opponents should be disqualified — reasons that include what they once said, once advocated for, or with whom they previously associated.

As Robyn Urback pointed out in CBC News, “None of those claims were close to as bad as a grown man wearing blackface on multiple occasions. Had Trudeau been a regular candidate of any party, including the Liberals, he would’ve been closing up his campaign office by now.”

A Teachable Moment

Wednesday evening Canadians listened to our Prime Minister’s apologies for his indiscretions. He said he couldn’t remember how often he wore blackface. Many on social media affirmed his “honesty” and “sincere apology” and saw this as “a teachable moment.”

This should be a teachable moment for Canadians.

Mr. Trudeau said he “deeply regretted” the incidents, saying it was the sort of discrimination ethnic minorities “face on a regular basis”. “I didn’t see that from the layers of privilege that I have.”

Trudeau didn’t take responsibility. He transferred responsibility by blaming “white privilege” for his behavior. He moved responsibility for what he did from himself to the rest of us. It’s not a confession; it’s a justification.

Failure To Accept Responsibility

When a leader fails to accept responsibility they:

foster a culture of blame.

model irresponsibility.

fuel anger.

On Wednesday night, the airwaves resounded with representatives of ethnic and cultural minorities claiming Canada is wracked by “profound and systemic racism.” People are entitled to their opinions but this is one of the most tolerant countries in the world. Perfect? No. Free from racism? No.

A leader, who self-promotes being a champion of tolerance, inclusivity, sensitivity and acceptance, undermines national unity in failing to accept responsibility for his behavior.

APPLICATION: How can an irresponsible leader be expected to speak credibly against racism and prejudice? The electorate typically has a short memory. Don’t get fooled again. Please leave a comment below. Thank you.

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Bob Jones

Happily married to Jocelyn for 44 years. We have two adult sons, Cory and his wife Lynsey and their son Vincent and daughter Jayda; Jean Marc and his wife Angie and their three daughters, Quinn, Lena and Annora. I love inspiring people through communicating, blogging, and coaching. I enjoy writing, running, and reading. I'm a fan of the Double E, Bruins, Celtics, Red Sox and Pats. Follow me on Twitter @bobjones49ers


  • Calay Mayo says:

    Well written and well said! I strongly dislike it when leaders of any kind will not take responsibility for their personal decisions and mistakes. Far too often we see men and women hide behind a social norm or agenda to justify their behaviour.

    Trudeau has done this more than once and continues to make decisions that are embarrassing to our nation. Politicians all have skeletons in their closet because they are human beings, so there is nothing wrong with them being revealed except when the blame is passed along to society as a whole. You are so right!

    I agree that our country is tolerant however there is systemic racism in our country as there is all around the world. Perhaps we seem the most tolerant but the truth is that the problems still exist here. In the end, society is built on individuals so it is imperative to keep educating our generations about the perils of racism and prejudice if we want things to change permanently.

    For that reason, it simply isn’t enough for a politician, in fact fo anyone, to blame the system and white privilege for their own personal actions. All of us need to take personal responsibility for our choices – both words and actions.

  • Carole Holmes Schlachta says:

    You know I believe that God’s knows all. I give Mr. Trudeau to the Lord. I don’t mean to sound self righteous but I pray somewhere God sends someone to tell him about Jesus, who died for him. He needs the Lord as we all do.
    Time, as Christians to pray and look to the Lord for direction.
    The worst thing is if he isn’t saved, he will go to hell.
    Lord Jesus, help us all and Prime Minister Trudeau.

  • Bob Jones says:

    Good observation, Calay, about tolerance and yet the problems of racism still exist in Canada. Good can come out of this situation if each of us is more conscious of the effects of racism.

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