Getting straight to the point, twins Soleil and Solara asked Trudeau: Why did you paint your face brown?
Ooh Um… It was something I shouldn’t have done, ‘cos it hurt people… It’s not something that you… You should do, and… That is something that I learnt. I didn’t know it back then, but I know it now. And I’m sorry I hurt people.
The girl followed up:
But did you paint your nose and your hands brown?
Mmmhmm,yeah. And it was the wrong thing to do. And I had a good conversation with my kids around taking responsibility for mistakes and making sure that we’re always sticking up for each other, and not teasing each other, and being respectful towards each other.
And I’m, uh, sorry that I hurt you as well. I’m sorry that I hurt kids, uh, who, uh, you know, get, uh, uh-face teasing and discrimination because… Because of the colour of their skin. That’s just not right in this country, or anywhere around the world, and we all have to work together to make sure that that doesn’t happen, OK?
Last month, TIME magazine uncovered a photo from 2001 of a 29 year-old Trudeau dressed in blackface (although they went with the term "brownface"). The photo quickly made its way onto social media and newspaper front pages across the world.
Even more shockingly, photos began to emerge of other instances of the PM wearing similar costumes. Trudeau then said he had no idea how many times he’d dressed in this offensive manner.
Blackface has long been known to be offensive, so Trudeau’s excuse that he “thought it was fine” probably won’t go down too well with the many people who were hurt by the story.
Still, it’s good to see the next generation holding him to account and asking such important questions.