It’s been a bad month for the City of Vaughan, Ontario when it comes to blackface in the public square.
First there was Vaughan resident Deivis Shtembari donning blackface makeup to take part in a Black Lives Matter protest at Toronto’s Nathan Phillips Square. That agitated some members of the crowd and eventually Deivis was arrested and charged with causing a disturbance. He will be in court next month.
More recently, a statue of Pierre Elliott Trudeau in a park near the Promenade Mall was vandalized. Namely, Trudeau’s face was coated in black paint.
The City of Vaughan sent crews to immediately repair the damage and the paint has now been completely removed from the statue. In the aftermath, this incident is being treated as Vaughan’s day of infamy.
Indeed, a CBC story notes how a police staff sergeant with the York Regional Police is slamming the incident as “insulting” and “disrespectful.” Naturally, the hate crime unit is also investigating.
Meanwhile, Vaughan Mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua stated he was “deeply disappointed” by the incident, noting in a statement:
“Like so many Canadians, I admire Pierre Trudeau's commitment to fostering a fair and just society.”
Incidentally, I reached out to Mayor Bevilacqua’s office to find out if he was also “deeply disappointed” by the current prime minister donning blackface on so many occasions (so many, in fact, that even Justin has lost track.)
I was told the mayor was unavailable for comment.
In any event, I can’t say I support vandalism nor the use of blackface.
But I have to say this: looking at the photographic evidence of Trudeau Senior’s mug coated in black paint, there was, perhaps for the first time, a truly uncanny resemblance to Trudeau Junior…