Defending Justin Trudeau???

September 24th, 2019 Posted by Susan's Musings 87 comments

I am a bit nervous about publishing today’s Musing and so will issue the following disclaimer: I am not trying to be provocative. I simply want to ask an honest question. What exactly is wrong with dressing up as someone of another race? I’m not even sure what the word blackface means and I don’t know that anyone else does either.

I used to think that  the word meant a vaguely insulting parody of a black-skinned person in the manner of Al Jolson in the movie, The Jazz Singer. (Disclaimer #2: I haven’t actually seen the movie, but that is my understanding of it.) I’m sure there are dozens of images in movies from the 1920s that would be unacceptable today. I get that. But the assaults on Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau or Virginia Governor Ralph Northam using that word, confuse me. Let’s be clear. I do not agree with either of the men’s politics and would not vote for them if I was an eligible voter in a race that included them. Nonetheless, I despise the idea that disagreeing with someone politically, even vehemently, means that you should try to destroy them personally. I also object to combing through people’s pasts and judging them by standards that didn’t exist at that time. However,  I’m even having trouble understanding why today’s standards see what they did as offensive.

What am I missing? I understand that costumes can be worn that are in bad taste verging on hateful. I would put dressing in a Ku Klux Klan outfit in that category. I would put dressing like a Nazi  officer in that category. Doing either of those things shows at a minimum poor judgment, historical ignorance and a lack of sensitivity and, depending on the venue and the person, might well reflect worse. (Even so, destroying people for behavior when they were, in the words of George W. Bush, young and irresponsible seems cruel and counter-productive to me.)

I don’t automatically put dressing in a costume to look like a person other than oneself in the same category. Isn’t that the whole idea of a costume or a dress-up party?

When I was a child, probably around second grade, I owned a book called Taro and the Tofu. To me, it was a tale of a far-away country where people ate exotic food that I had never seen. A few decades earlier, a number of my uncles had fought against Japan in World War II. There was actually something quite amazing about the fact that I wasn’t expected to hate the Japanese, but was instead being introduced to their culture. For Purim (a holiday on which Jews dress up in costumes) one year, a friend of mine who had once lived in Japan wore a beautiful kimono. I don’t remember if she used make-up to give herself Asian features, but I can’t understand why it would be wrong to do so. Isn’t that what dressing up means?

At the same age as I read Taro and the Tofu, I also owned a set of miniature international dolls, each one robed in the traditional dress of his or her country. I believe the collection was bought in the gift store of the United Nations. While a modern Dutch girl most likely doesn’t walk around in wooden clogs, if I wanted a Dutch costume, that’s probably what I would have imitated. I’m hard-pressed to understand if that would be seen as wrong by the politically correct crowd today. Or maybe that would be o.k., but I mustn’t think that I should try to look like the doll from Nigeria? What exactly is the difference?

There are Black rap artists today who dress in Hasidic garb – the clothing of certain sects of Jews. In and of itself, I don’t see what is wrong with that. If I want to dress up as for a party as Hillary Clinton or Melania Trump, am I allowed to do so because I’m a white woman? But if I want to dress up as Michelle Obama that would be offensive because I’m white? The only way I can read that is that I must define Black people as “the other.” Isn’t that a step backwards for society?

After  Mao’s communist revolution in China, people were forced to issue humiliating public apologies for past misdeeds. Those “misdeeds” were newly created sins. There was an endless supply of them as new categories of wrong were created. Millions of people suffered as this type of society took control. America today is far from that, but I do worry that we are moving in that direction.

As I said, I’m not a fan of either Prime Minister Trudeau or Gov. Northam. Yet, I would cheer if, instead of apologizing, either of these men declared that the emperor of cultural appropriation has no clothes. Mr. Trudeau said that he should have been more sensitive as to how his actions showed intolerance and discrimination. How exactly did dressing up as he did for an Arabian Nights party do that? Either I’m missing something or this entire ramping up of ways in which we are offended sows division and hatred. It is beyond my understanding how that leads to a better world.

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87 comments

Suzanne Dowling says:

I am in complete agreement with these comments. And concerned about remarks in reply.

Susan Lapin says:

Suzanne, this will go out tonight, so we’ll see what comes back. One of the saddest things about today is the difficulty in accepting that we can disagree while still staying civil. So, I truly would like to hear a counter-argument, but it can’t be based on what a horrible person I am or that there is no way I can understand.

Karen Hightower says:

It’s bringing attention to research this person. Do you know what a pedofile and child sex slavery entails. There is more to this than blackface. This is bigger than any of us can imagine. Makes me sad. It is a division…evil vs good.

LYLE BERG says:

Susan. I’m a Canadian , politically I don’t support Justin as most are not aware he dresses up to every event to appease the group he is viaing for votes which has always got him in trouble . He goes to the mosque dressed up and says prayers he goes to India dressed up and says prayers and the list goes on . However that said when he was dressed up as Aladdin he was a drama teacher at a party. It’s typical politics bringing his past up which has nothing to do with our election. To me Justin should not have apologized and said the past is the past once he weighed in on the conversation he dug a hole. Very sad we can’t forgive and move forward and simply pray for our leaders as the Bible instructs us to do

Rabbi Daniel Lapin says:

Right Lyle,
And it is fundamentally immoral to charge somebody with a crime that when he ‘committed’ it was not a crime. But we live in evil times.
Cordially
RDL

S Paris says:

YAY! Finally, a voice of reason!

Kristi Johnson says:

I am in the same boat as you. It feels like a division is being created.

Charli says:

There are evils of the past that created division in order to control and manipulate the masses; we tend not to learn from past history, but when people distort or completely remove history from education, as they say, we are doomed to repeat it.

Ari L says:

Thought you’d find this interesting: {article about Rhianna apologizing for cultural appropriation]

Susan Lapin says:

We do have a policy about not linking to articles, but thanks for sharing. Sheesh.

Leslie Burton says:

So grateful to hear someone else say this! I also had the Taro book and the international dolls. I can remember dressing up at Halloween as whatever I might be able to pull together… and never to be mean, just frugal. I remember when eating Mexican or offering it at a party meant you liked the cuisine, not that you were appropriating someone’s food… costume… etc. But it seems the world has become much hasher and the shrill voices filled with hate are every where now.

Honestly, I love the internet, but it has blown away civil discourse and the voices of the arrogant, smug haters are ringing out.

I suspect most reasonable people do not believe Trudeau or Trump are haters because of incidents like these,… it is just easier to be quiet. Too hard to fight back at loud-mouthed bullies, and too easy to bring a world of disapprobation down on one’s own head. ALso, I suspect the people who are crying out the most harshly and loudest are telling us much more about themselves than they realize.

Keep on musing!

Susan Lapin says:

You are so right, Leslie, that the Internet distorts voices, giving power to the weirdest and loudest. The problem is that when the rest of us stay quiet, the line has moved for the next generation who think that what they’re hearing makes sense.

Lissa Cunningham says:

I am so glad you said this out loud. Too many times we get cowed by the name calling and shouting. Silence gives them permission to keep this up. Thank you!

Susan Lapin says:

Absolutely right, Lissa.

Carmine Pescatore says:

It was a party and he played a part of the entertainment. Nothing insulting.

Last century, I used to watch the old silent movies and pre WW 2 talkies on channel 13 in NYC. The only thing I remember about Al Jolson doing black face in the movie was the scene of him on his knees singing “Mammy” and the camera flipping back and forth between him and an elderly white haired woman in the audience. See if you can find it on YouTube.

“Birth of a Nation” was a racist movie with actors in blackface. Woodrow Wilson showed it in the White House. It was a Klan recruitment movie.

Susan Lapin says:

You mean Woodrow Wilson, the Democrat?

Carmine Pescatore says:

Yes, Wilson the Democrat. An early Progressive.

Jean says:

Absolutely Woodrow Wilson, Democrat. He lauded Birth of a Nation, which among other things, depicted the KKK as the saviors of white womanhood, and the freed blacks (white men in blackface) as scheming rapists who lurked behind every tree and in the woodpiles in order to pounce on lone white females. Totally different than the quasi-minstrel show put on by Al Jolson in The Jazz Singer (yes, I’ve watched both movies.)

Susan Lapin says:

Thanks for chiming in with real information, Jean.

FYT says:

I will preface this with I am a Texan and we can be pretty independent in our beliefs.
Have to say I totally agree with you and think the thought police who are applying THEIR standards of today to actions done years ago baffle me.
Love your remarks about Mao because it points out the politically correct for the frauds that they are.
While I believe that the standards applied to some who “sinned” by the politically correct should apply to all I would prefer that the general public stand up and tell the politically correct to put their ideas where the sun don’t shine.

Susan Lapin says:

Well, I do agree that since Justin Trudeau and Gov. Northam side with the policies of the Left, it’s better that they be held to those standards than others, but it would be best if no one had to espouse or be judged by bad ideas.

kathleen Johnston says:

I agree with you.

Susan Lapin says:

Kathleen, I think an awful lot of people do.

Mike K says:

I do not think it is the act that many people are outraged about (at least on the right), but it is that the men mentioned have felt it their duty to lecture us about our racism, using the term for acts like opposing government entitlement programs, requiring identification to vote, or opposing open borders. If those are indeed racist positions as they say they are, then the harmless act of dressing as a member of another race is also abhorrent. As for me, I sincerely think that a tasteless costume is simply that, not necessarily racist.

Of course I say that while thinking about the great Mel Brook’s ability to ridicule racism through parody and comedy, I think he won an important battle in the culture wars by encouraging us to laugh at the KKK, racists, bigots, and Nazis.

Susan Lapin says:

Mike, I agree that they are being hoisted by their own petard (hope I’m using that correctly since I have no idea what a petard is) but I’d rather see the whole idea blown open as an “Emperor’s New Clothes” concept.

C Janet Huey says:

It’s from Shakespeare, to be done in by ones own treachery planned for someone else.
A petard was a small bomb.

Susan Lapin says:

Thank you – as I was writing it I realized I had no idea what the word meant. I’ll have to look up my Shakespeare.

Art Carnrick says:

I’m like you… what’s the big deal?.. why did the press call it “brown” face??? As a kid I dressed up as a pirate one Halloween and rubbed a burnt cork on the lower part of my face to look like a beard… I can never run for office…

Susan Lapin says:

Well, Art, you certainly won’t get the offended pirate vote.

celesta says:

Me either…I dressed up as Mr. T. when I was in 7th grade and as Rerun from What’s Happening a few years later. I guess I could never run for office either. (I had better clarify that that was long before I stopped observing the occultic day.)

Al Hoffman says:

Caricature can be funny, yet some take it to an extreme.
When I was very young, some fellows did white-face. I laughed! Others told me I needed to be mad. While the purpose was to insult perhaps, the silliness of that excess fits why carefulness of our behaviors is needed.
Like in the 60’s ,was seen the Long Hair Hippy, caught in his hair! Ouch! He was ,”trippin’!” Some laughter at ourselves can drop this nonsense.

Franz Resch says:

I very much agree with your comments. Coming from Austria, I have encountered mostly innocent portrayals of people from different races or cultures. Growing up Christian, the most common occasion was Christmas plays involving the 3 kings from the east. Makeup and costumes somewhat resemble what we knew from movies about bible events. There was no thought about this practice being racist.

It was not until I came to this country almost 40 years ago that I started to become more aware about racial issues. However, this would not stop me from working together or interacting with anyone no matter what race or cultural background. Thinking back I believe that more focus on what might divide this great county along racial lines started with the increasing popularity of Oprah and the Obama presidency. While I understand that change in these areas is needed, it cannot happen in the current atmosphere of hypersensitivity and the resulting magnification of anything even remotely perceived as racist.

Addressing your original thoughts, now any form of depiction of a non-white character by a white (Caucasian) person is considered racist no matter how innocent the play or event like a costume party may be. It might be worthwhile to refer to Wikipedia for info about history and thoughts about the following terms.
(links deleted)
It appears that there is a long history of making fun of people from other races or cultures. To be clear, I do not approve of anyone being made fun of in a demeaning way, especially with the aim of making such person look inferior. Unfortunately in the current political climate, the more radical and divisive folks will not differentiate and label even the most innocent expressions of another race as racist, not realizing that they now have become racist themselves.

Thanks again for exposing extremism and fostering reconciliation.

Susan Lapin says:

Franz, I think that what you are saying is why using the word ‘blackface’ or ‘brownface’ is not accurate in all cases.

Franz Resch says:

Yes Susan. These terms have become buzzwords for racism. That’s why I wanted to know more about their meaning once reading about Trudeau and previous incidents. There appears to be an increasing effort to rewrite & suppress history. I believe that we should rather present the full context and use it’s lessons to teach future generations.
Thanks again for not shying away from controversial issues.

David J says:

I don’t claim to speak for my co-ethnics or for any other ethnicity, but I mention that I am of Chinese descent for whatever anyone might consider that of worth on this topic.

I am VERY MUCH opposed to the idea of “cultural appropriation” being forbidden. To me, forbidding “cultural appropriation” is to promote segregation. I believe humans have been adopting whatever they find of value when they encounter other humans or cultures throughout their time on Earth, and that is GOOD. That is one way societies improve. Why should one ethnicity have a patent forever on a good idea just because they came up with it first? I consider the recent trend of forbidding cultural appropriation total nonsense AND it isn’t healthy as it stifles innovation and progression of society.

A few years ago two non-Latina women in San Francisco came up with their own version of the burrito which was unique and made a food cart business offering their unique version to the public. Their burrito was popular with the public until it was pointed out that these women had appropriated Mexican culture and were shamed into shutting down their business. Why was their business so terrible? People liked their interpretation of the burrito enough to choose to buy theirs. If anything, they enriched lives by their so-called cultural appropriation by offering a unique version that people enjoyed. But even if it were a total copy with nothing innovative, so what? If people were willing to buy theirs, they provided something that some found of value.

I am actually offended by today’s cultural appropriation ban. It promotes segregation and limits freedom with no benefit to anyone as far as I can tell.

Marcus page jr says:

First of all there is no way anyone can defend or speak for Justin or anyone who has worn a blackface. Why? Because only they can speak to their motives and reasons for their actions.

Without going into a long historical discussion about racial history from the time of Jim Crow until the time the federal government drug the south kicking and screaming into a new era (civil rights act of 1964). The blackface and other symbols were used to mock and belittle people of color. It’s as simple as that.

I cannot begin to address all of your examples so I will just pick two. Wearing Hasidic garb by rappers or dressing in a kimono by your friend for Purim were ways they admired other cultures and decided to use it in a case of cultural appropriation.

Just to sum it up. The blackface has traditionally not been used out of admiration of the colored people. Mostly it has been used to make light of, belittle and cast a comical light on their features by putting on the makeup and behaving like a circus clown or to hop around like a monkey while holding various pieces of food.

Was this what Justin was doing or what anyone else meant when wearing a blackface? I don’t know this. As a mentioned earlier only he can speak to the facts. From my personal experiences the blackface has been used in a negative light. Never have I seen it done in admiration for a person of color. ( I am from the south)

Susan Lapin says:

Marcus, I think what you are saying is why, in my opinion, using the term ‘blackface’ doesn’t apply to the picture I saw of Prime Minister Trudeau. He looked great to me -not insulting in the slightest. Just trying to look like a part of Arabian nights. So using that term is a value judgement rather than looking at what is actually there, though as you say, none of us know motivation. But that suggests that we can neither defend nor condemn. All we can do is look at the objective facts. I don’t see the insult.

Patty Neal says:

Susan, I totally agree with you! I also have wondered why dressing up to look like someone else, regardless of their color is wrong if that’s what the person looks like! I don’t get it and most of the time I’m glad I don’t. It’s totally ridiculous. Very well written article. Thank you.

Joyce R. says:

Dear Ms. Susan, I grew up when imitation was considered the sincerest form of flattery. It seems that the left no longer wants America (or Canada) to be a melting pot with peoples of different races, religions, etc., contributing the best things in their cultures to the American culture. So I am with you in not understanding this contrarian progressive position. BTW, a petard was an early type of bomb used to blow up doors or gates. As I understand it, these bombs often exploded too soon, killing the people who used it, hence the phrase.

Susan Lapin says:

Joyce, I see some etymological research in my work basket. You and C Janet either disagree or complement each other.

Joyce R says:

I agree with CJanet on the metaphorical use of the term. I just focused on what a petard was and the unfortunate consequences that sometimes resulted from its use. I think those unfortunate results led to the metaphor. Shabbat shalom.

Rabbi Daniel Lapin says:

Thank you Joyce,
Cordially
RDL

Susan Lapin says:

🙂

Cindy says:

I thought the same and really didn’t get it. You stated the issue well.

Susan, you ask an interesting question, “What exactly is wrong with dressing up as someone of another race?” It is one I have been asking, but have not taken the time to research. I did a little, very little, research tonight. I am going to change the question slightly. “Why is blackface considered racist?”

I started with what I thought I knew. Turns out I knew nothing accurately. I thought I remembered that Al Jolson was connected with blackface. Turns out that blackface pre-dates Jolson. I thought he was black. He was white. I thought blackface was a form of entertainment in the black community. Not sure why I thought that because it makes no sense for blacks to use blackface. I report this to show how we can think we know things that just aren’t so.

Back to Jolson. He was born in Russia to orthodox Jewish parents. The family moved to New York when Jolson was 6, his mother died when he was 10, he went into withdrawal for about 7 months. He came out of that and began rebelling against his father. He ran away from home at age 12. He became fascinated with Vaudeville. I would be hard pressed to find a greater contrast than between Jewish familial and communal life and the bawdy, raucous nature of Vaudeville. Vaudeville is the last place I would want to see any 12 year old. He did not start performing in blackface until he was 19 but by the time he was 25 he was performing in blackface a lot.

In one documentary clip it was suggested that Jolson was very insecure and performing in blackface was a way of not being fully exposed. I could find nothing that suggested that anyone then or now thinks that Jolson was racist. However, there are “histories” out there that say blackface was rooted in racism. Those same ‘histories” do not say why or give examples, they just make an unfounded claim.

However, what I noticed was that 100% of the audiences in the clips I saw were white and 100% of the actors on stage were in blackface. I also noticed that the songs and routines were the best, least sexually explicit examples of Vaudeville. There was no need to perform in blackface that I could see. Since we are talking about roughly 1911 to 1926 I can say that blacks were probably not allowed into the acting guilds. To not let them perform and then have white actors perform in blackface is something I find disturbing. I would like to find a real history of that period of stage and film making. I suspect that I will come down hard on the evils of Vaudeville. Had I been alive I think I would have been a “close down this den iniquity” protestor.

This does not answer your question about dressing up as someone of another race, but I have discovered for myself a reason to be glad that blackface is no longer considered an acceptable art form. I do agree with you that going back 30 to 50 years to tarnish someone in the present is unacceptable. People change. We need to acknowledge that and rejoice in it.

Susan Lapin says:

Thanks for the history lesson, Gerry. Would you say that blackface and dressing up with make-up to change your color are the same? Or was what happened in vaudeville a deliberate parody rather than, to use a different term, acting. I remember for example one year that there were 2 TV shows on (Welcome Back, Kotter was one). One featured someone supposed to be Greek while the other featured someone supposed to be Jewish but the Jews was played by a Greek actor and the Greek by a Jewish actor. That’s called acting. What I’m asking is if a costume party is closer to vaudeville or to acting.

Susan, I think a costume party is closer to vaudeville than acting. Most costume parties are just people stepping outside of themselves and taking on the outward appearance of someone else. Real acting is becoming that other person. I do not think either is wrong. Parody is also not wrong as long as everyone knows it is a parody. A skit on Saturday Night Live is obviously a parody. Recently, however, Adam Schiff, Chair of the House Intelligence Committee, did a parody of the “transcript” of the call between President Trump and the Ukrainian President. If a Republican, during Obama’s presidency had come to a committee meeting in blackface and done a parody it would have rightly generated a firestorm. What Adam Schiff did was also wrong. Had the same thing been done on Sat Night Live I would not say it was wrong. I would also say it was not acting. I would classify it as a political statement. What I have seen of vaudeville leads me to the opinion that vaudeville is not acting. Someone playing Othello is acting. Some singing a sentimental song in blackface is singing. However, everything I have seen about Jolson is that he was “the world’s greatest performer.” So maybe I am wrong about vaudeville not being acting. What I know for sure is that we live in difficult times and I love what you and Rabbi do because it helps me cling to that which never changes!

Susan Lapin says:

Interesting thought process, Gerry. Thanks for joining us here.

Wise words. Few dare say it the way it is. I hate hypocrisy of any type. Even Ezra levant from Rebel Media, a man I respect, has jumped on the band wagon. I recently wrote to a friend who sent me an article from the National Post disparaging Mr. Trudeau, that I whole heartedly disagreed with the viewpoint expressed in the article.
mark from Victoria, BC (yes a Canadian)

Susan Lapin says:

Mark, the new politics seems to be, “Let’s not talk idea. Let’s just shoot at each other with every weapon we can find.” Doesn’t seem like a good idea.

Claire says:

I heard Trudeau’s apology and found it both ridiculous and pathetic. Well, I guess Disney will be apologizing next for making Alladin…

Susan Lapin says:

Not to mention Snow White and just about every other movie, Claire.

Norma Smith says:

There just seems to be so much and division and this seems to be one more way for the haters to push the division. Thank you for speaking up. Norma

Susan Lapin says:

In the name of tolerance, what tremendous intolerance is shown, Norma.

Kristin Grose says:

Amen, Susan!!!! My thoughts exactly. Is it that your fans might just be logical & linear as opposed to group thinkers?? K

Susan Lapin says:

Kristin, I seem to remember that a WSJ study reported that college seniors were less capable of logical thought than freshman. Most of my readers who did go to college did so when it was still a place of education.

Gail says:

Well said! So much today is labeled as racist that has nothing to do with racism!

Susan Lapin says:

The word racism, like so many others, has completely lost its meaning.

Rob Zimmer says:

A voice of sanity in a sea of ignorance. I agree the racial focus and political correctness of the 21st century promotes hatred and even more intolerance.

One year when one of these “Blackface Scandals” dominated the news, a few minutes later in the broadcast there was an African American in “Whiteface” for Halloween.

Seems odd that only one race can be racist.

Susan Lapin says:

Rob, it affects so much more as well. Like little girls being sold t-shirts with nasty comments about boys on them but not the other way around.

Charli says:

I fully agree and am surprised the progressive left have not burned Margaret Mitchell’s “Gone With The Wind” and other books like it, as well as films that depict the times (Shirley Temple dancing with Bill Robinon comes to mind too). If only I had taken better care of my childhood book, “Little Black Sambo,” which would be a collector’s item today, and a piece of history for my grandchildren…never heard of Taro and Tofu but maybe it is similar. Too many seem to fail to appreciate the truth of the world’s history and how far we have come to resolve our collective past sins but I am not sure any of them learn actual history anymore. It could explain why they say nothing of the countries and cultures that still condone slavery and sheer hatred in varying forms. Perhaps they are ignorant of such behaviors globally or it simply does not fit their agenda. This insanity in the world has caused me to shut off news on television, to scan headlines of sites I consider somewhat balanced, then seeing mostly fluff and insignificance (no real news), move on with the day. Nothing can be solved by throwing mud at others, especially when each of us has our own shortcomings to repair. Nation have a problem when groups of people successfully ban G-d, then force their own ideologies onto public venues and shame those who believe. In fact, it is unConstitutional in America, though the left has disrespected that document and our rights for a long time, I think. But, these are clearly the End Times, what is happening has been prophesied repeatedly, and it will all be resolved in time. Our redemption is near!

Susan Lapin says:

Charli, the lack of learning accurate history has definitely paved the way for an ignorant and foolish generation.

Lee says:

I am not as eloquent as you but I think the main instigator is the double standard of the left. Also, it says in Matthew 24:12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. When love for God and his ways grow cold then we begin to react in a worldly way instead of fair and just. It becomes a juvenile tit for tat situation. We lose the balance of justice, instead, just want to hit back. Pretty sad. Another thing that feeds this is the lack of justice for the elites who have committed crimes. Ecclesiastes 8: 11 Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil. Our hearts have become sick in this country because of it. We need to return to God and his word.

Susan Lapin says:

Lee, there certainly is a double standard. But (and I think this was true for the Me Too movement as well) the guns are now turned inwards. Neither Prime Minister Trudeau or Gov. Northam are conservatives by any stretch of the imagination.

Priscilla Morse says:

Susan, as usual, you are spot on. How far is this ridiculousness going to go? We can’t dress like others ( unless it is a man dressing like a woman and using a ladies room). I am presently in another country where the young people are dressed like Americans. Isn’t imitation a form of flattery?

Susan Lapin says:

Enjoy your travels, Priscilla. I’m afraid ridiculousness doesn’t have an outer limit.

Kristyn Hall says:

I think many people are upset by what they see as hypocrisy, because Trudeau and Northam are the types who lecture everyone about cultural insensitivity. And I think there is a measure of insensitivity there. Even as an “irresponsible young person” this kind of dress up struck me as being in poor taste.

Susan Lapin says:

Maybe, Kristin, but if it was mostly dislike of hypocrisy then mostly conservatives would be upset. I don’t think that is the case. I don’t see the bad taste in a well-done costume. I see offense if it is meant to be insulting.

Phillip says:

Please don’t back down when the social justice warriors and thought police come after you.

Susan Lapin says:

Phillip, over the years, my husband has had many attacks. Very unpleasant but we’re still standing.

Ronald Bakowsky says:

We are all people of colour. White is a colour, without getting technical, and we all act with colour. In fact, if you do a broad-spectrum colour analysis of all our behaviors you will discover that we are very colour-full as human beings. So, why don’t we just remove the various hues and homogenize ourselves with grey faces – oops, that’s still a colour – blending into a colourless oblivion – oops again – can’t seen to shake colour. Instead of that why not become colour-wise? Like Trudeau. He coloured himself black out of a colourful sense of humour not out of a colour-less sense of mockery. His colourful character acknowledged his inadequency to represent the colour-full character of Aladdin’s. So he decided to add colour to his colour by using the colour of someone else. Aladdin’s. However, he used the wrong colour to do so. Wasn’t Aladdin’s skin shade on the lighter shade of burnt sienna? So it was simply a case of mistaken identity by a crowd of people with their own colour issues. As we move on it might be helpful to ask ourselves, What’s behind the face of our projecting colour to see if their is someone else over-painting what came naturally and not sinfully. Being colour-full, is the best way to show that you are a person of colour and you’ll be in vogue wherever you go.

Susan Lapin says:

Ronald, I detect a Canadian (or British) touch here with your spelling of colour. Also the dry humour.

Jean says:

Like most leftist ideas, the notion of “cultural appropriation” only goes one way. For instance, not ONE person has ever called out a black woman (think Beyonce or Wendy Williams) for dying her hair blonde, or wearing a blond or red wig. But that is clearly appropriation of Caucasian / Teutonic culture. It’s all about power; the person most “offended” gets to play that hand against logic and reason, and in today’s society, emotion always wins.

Susan Lapin says:

Jean, I think the very sad thing is that there is a subliminal message that suggests something disempowering to the minority. The only reason someone might imitate you is to put you down.

Mark Z says:

Susan, I hope that this is not too far off topic. My sister, at age six, developed a hatred for the Japanese at the start of our war with Japan. She and her husband became missionaries to Brazil. Her husband along with eight Brazilian youth came back to the states to raise some funds, leaving my sister in Brazil. My sister ran out of funds soon after they left and a wonderful Japanese family took care of her while her husband was gone.

Rabbi Daniel Lapin says:

Not off topic at all, Mark,
An inspiring and reassuring story.
Thanks!
Cordially
RDL

Susan Lapin says:

Mark, one of the hardest things is to acknowledge that different cultures have different values and ways (the Japanese were barbaric to POWs in WWII) while still accepting that individuals can be good or bad. Cultures also go through periods of madness and we need to distinguish that from the essence of the culture. A lot to think about, something American culture is very bad at promoting right now.

Matt says:

Thank you. Now I know that I am not the only one feeling the same way.

Ultimately, this is all about committing a grave sin of the religion of equality, aka Church of Woke.

You know they’re winning, right? The religion of equality is our future. At some point it will become intolerable. Maybe that is not so far away.

Rabbi Daniel Lapin says:

and, its connection to the church of environmentalism
is the topic of next week’s podcast, Matt. http://rabbidaniellapin.libsyn.com/
Thank you.
Cordially
RDL

Susan Lapin says:

I do think it already is, Matt.

Arlene says:

I so agree with with you, Susan! I wonder where the outrage is over drag queens? Aren’t they dressing up as white women? The hypocrisy!

Sonia says:

Let’s throw in another bit of TV/movie trivia: in many of the earlier Westerns, white actors dressed up and were made up for parts as Native Americans. Why not ban those old westerns for being racist? And drag through the mud anyone who took part in such activity – not just the actors, but the writers, directors, cinematographers, producers, make-up artists, hair dressers, assistants to all the above, and the horses that carried these racist bigots? Likewise, if Trudeau and Northam are blasted and must apologize for their black- and brown-face costumes, let’s trash the reputations of the people who took the pictures, the ones who published them, anyone who might give them the idea to do such a dastardly deed, whoever it was that gave the parties or held the events at which they appeared, those who were in the pictures with them, etc., etc. And let’s get right to the roots: why not shame the parents who raised such horrid beings? I speak with tongue firmly in cheek. But where does the insanity stop? People are too quick to take the part of “victim” these days. Sounds like your commenters here know the difference between hate, ignorance, and innocence, but what worries me is the number of people who’d just as soon brand every action and word of everyone as “hateful.” Excepting, of course, their own hateful actions and words.

Susan Lapin says:

Sonia, I’m pretty sure that old time Westerns are in disregard. And, it’s tricky. There are some stereotypes that we are better off without. However, we’d also lose a lot of good stuff that is hard to find today.

Omar Graham says:

Hello Susan.

The point that you are missing about blackface is that it was always meant to be offensive. Instead of putting an actual black actor or actress in a movie or a play..a white actor would put on black face.

Which included exaggerating ashy lips, extremely dark skin, and making a mockery of everyone of African descent. So there’s a big difference between that and a rapper dressing up in traditional Jewish garb. Do you understand?

Also, the two leftist political candidates that you’ve mentioned..have built their whole political career around being against racism and discrimination. So the outrage is more to do with their hypocrisy. Do you understand?

I have read books and have done research to understand why certain things are offensive to Jewish people. I suggest you do the same, before questioning why this is offensive. If you took the time to find out why this is offensive, you would not have to ask this question.

Most of the people responding to these comments don’t care. They have no interest in anything to do with black people. But of course that doesn’t stop them from commenting. This is the hypocrisy that goes on in this “Melting Pot” of ours.

Which is not a problem with me. I don’t believe in forcing myself on anyone.. because I am not a communist. I am an American.

Susan Lapin says:

Omar, I’m think I’m speaking for a lot of people here if I say that we would understand what you are saying better if it came across as less confrontational and more explanatory. Personally, I have spent many years fighting against what a lot of Jewish organizations speak of as offensive, because I think “being offended” is often an attack strategy rather than based on anything real. You are making a lot of judgment calls and value statements about “the people here.” I’m glad you are one of them but wish you would show more respect for the others as you would like them to show for you.

Lisa Beausay says:

It’s a pretty sad state of affairs when flawed human beings can manipulate other flawed human beings into believing that they can have power by exposing their weaknesses.
I come from a family of many cultures, colors and creeds. We were taught at a young age that “being offended” was a choice. We have chosen the place of true power. We are unoffendable.

Susan Lapin says:

Lisa, I believe it was Eleanor Roosevelt who said that no one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”

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