Written by Sabine Demosthenes
MONTREAL – When I was 21 years, old fifteen years ago, I did things that lacked maturity and judgment. Back then, let’s say that the world was a different place to live compared to today.
Didn’t we all have some poor judgment in our youth?
Can we grow into a mature human being after the age of 21, maybe even 28 years old? Hell yeah.
There was a big lack of judgment on my part when I was 27 years old. I made some big mistakes, that I now take full responsibility for. I wish I had known better. I can’t go back in time, but I can be a better person at the age of 36.
Can’t it be the same for the Prime Minister of Canada? Hell yeah.
In the early 2000s, the Wayans brothers did a movie called “White Chicks” and painted their faces white. Even Triple H of DX from the WWE painted his face in brown to make fun of the Nation of Domination leaded by the Rock (that is still laughing about it). I can hear some of you making excuses: they are not governing a country! True, but neither was Justin Trudeau at the time those pictures were taken. I see a man playing a character and getting into his costume. At the time, a lot of people were really hardcore about being in character at a costume party. We know Justin is not a racist. We know that everything is taken out the context and out of control in today’s society.
Some of you will still say, it is not the same. There are things that were tolerated back then that are not tolerated now. I get it, but will I get offended by every imperfect thing that someone does in their life?
Justin Trudeau is an advocate of the multi-culturalism in our society. Justin Trudeau is not perfect, just like everybody on this Earth, but he is not racist. That I can tell you! My father keeps telling me this story about when he met Justin at one of Denis Coderre’s events. He described Trudeau as gracious, and said he talked about the food spoke and even spoke a couple of words in Creole. My Dad told me: this young man is no phony. You can see that he loves to learn about different cultures.
If the picture was taken with him dressed as Aladdin (you know, the Disney hero), while he was next to someone being disguised as a KKK member in the white dress and crazy headgear, Hitler, Mussolini, and George Wallace, it would be a different conversation. That, I would find really stupid and offensive.
That wasn’t the case.
So, why am I writing this text and destroying my keyboard? Because, we need to be smarter than this. We need to focus on bigger issues, like the environment, being kind to each other, and being an open-minded society. We need to stop being fragile little snowflakes.
I never trust people who project that perfect image: the flawless family, the successful career and the perfect narrative, never making a mistake. I would rather have a glass of wine and eat some Haitian food with someone who can admit to and apologize for their mistakes; someone who isn’t afraid to show his emotions, a people’s person (like the Rock Dwayne Johnson); someone who surrounds himself with a good team, is a good colleague, a good neighbour, and a good friend who is not racist.
I’m not making a political statement; I’m making a personal statement. As a black woman, I wasn’t offended by those pictures. When I read that he is the definition of white privilege, I rolled my eyes because we all say that about practically every white person on the planet. Yes, he is the son of a Prime Minister, he went to Bréboeuf (like many of my friends that are black by the way) and his name may have opened of few doors for him. But with all this, he will always have to work ten times harder to prove himself and create his own legacy. He is constantly in the public eye, having public and private moments judged and criticized, as well as constantly being compared to his father. Like the rest of us, he is human and will make some mistakes. A real, genuine person is someone who is willing to apologize and take full responsibility for their mistakes instead of making excuses.
In the meantime, let’s move on and enjoy the beautiful weather and the last days of the summer. I have faith that we are intelligent enough to focus on things that matter, while trying to do our best to be good citizens of this world.
Forgiveness is one of the things we should focus on (if the person is honest, of course).