Column: Does Trudeau’s brownface photo spell the end of absolute political correctness?

Perhaps, just perhaps, we have seen the end of the expectation of absolute, lifetime political correctness in Canada.

Surely we must, for the only solution otherwise would be for the Liberal Party of Canada to expel its leader, Justin Trudeau, the incumbent prime minister, in the middle of a federal election campaign.

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Live by the sword, die by the sword, to paraphrase Matthew 26:52.

“I’m pissed off at myself,” Trudeau said on his airplane in the evening of Sept. 18 in a hastily called press conference. This was after Time magazine published a school yearbook photo from 2000-2001. In that photo, a 29-year-old school teacher named Justin Trudeau, teaching at an elite private school, wore brownface and a turban to an Arabian Nights-themed costume party. He also had his darkened hand draped across the neck of an attractive woman.

How could he? Shouldn’t he have known what the implications in the 21st century of ever doing something that could be considered wrong, in any way, shape or form? Of being risqué, or making some form of off-colour joke, of being anything but perfectly politically correct?

Didn’t he know that any past action could be punished, severely, and without significant recourse, with no forgiveness? That all are to be perfect from the cradle to today?

How times has he written the political obituary of those whom have erred in some manner or other? Be it a tweet or some allegation, unproven in court? How many candidates have been dropped or not even considered due to a social media post? How many MPs, of his party and others, have been flambeed at the stake of perfect political correctness?

Does the standard, the immediate political banishment Justin Trudeau has applied to so many others, apply to all? Or is that just a standard for everyone not named Trudeau?

Trudeau, and he alone, has to bear the consequences of his actions, and I don’t mean for what he did some 19 years ago. If he expected others to fall on their swords for any past moment of impropriety, then he should do the same. If not, his apologies should not only extend to those offended, but those who he has punished for similar or lesser offences.

This event should spell the end of the 21st century requirement that everyone be perfectly politically correct for their entire lives, with no record existing anywhere of any bad behaviour, or, to use Trudeau’s own terms in sacking two Liberal MPs, “serious personal misconduct.”

Every time he called someone else out for their politically incorrect behaviour in the past, was he thinking in the back of his mind, “I hope to God that no one digs up that yearbook?”

The Liberal government has been apologizing for all the wrongs of the last 152 year of confederation, based on today’s current sensibilities. Now he is being judge for something that happened long ago.

Will he step down? In the middle of an election? As the incumbent prime minister?

I wrote a column back in 2017 about how Winston Churchill, the man who saved Britain from Nazi Germany, would never be electable today. He was a racist, through and through, and didn’t have much respect for those with coloured skin. Sound familiar? But wait, there’s more.

Churchill was an imperialist, and truly felt England should rule a large chunk of the world (see above on racism). The man had issues with Ghandi! Yes, that Ghandi!

He was an elitist who apparently, not once in his life, drew his own bath, and always had servants. He grew up the son of one of the most prominent parliamentarians of his respective age. Churchill was a chauvinist and sexist. Any one of his cracks made to or about women would today sink him as soon as it hit Twitter. Trudeau would surely have expelled him.

As I wrote back then, by today’s standards, Churchill was deeply flawed, politically incorrect to the extreme. One social media search would sink his chances of ever getting elected again. There is not forgiveness for flaw of any type in today’s society.

Now, I’m not saying that Justin Trudeau is Winston Churchill. But I am saying that no one, but no one, is without sin. No one can attain the point of political correctness perfection modern society demands. Justin Trudeau has been the high priest of the temple of political correctness worship.  

So that really leaves us with just two outcomes.

Either Justin Trudeau resigns as leader, and resigns from the Liberal caucus, essentially forfeiting the election, or the reign of terror of political correctness ends, now. We cannot have both. Our society must come to the realization that all people have made errors, that they are flawed, but are not beyond redemption.

Either the impossible standards are applied to all, or we become Biblical about this.

“He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” John 8:7, KJV

Justin Trudeau has cast many a stone.


Brian Zinchuk is editor of Pipeline News. He can be reached at


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