Archive for September 18th, 2019

Trudeau apologized for his brownface controversy. Here’s exactly what he said – Global News

September 18th, 2019

A 2001 photo of Liberal Party Leader Justin Trudeau in brownface was released Wednesday, as his campaign for re-election entered its second week.

The black-and-white photo, which was featured in a yearbook for West Point Grey Academy, the school Trudeau taught at, was published by Time magazine.

Justin Trudeau appears in a photo taken in 2001 that was published by Time magazine.

Justin Trudeau appears in a photo taken in 2001 that was published by Time magazine.

Time Magazine

Shortly after Time magazine released the image, Trudeau issued a public apology while aboard his campaign plane.

READ MORE: Trudeau apologizes after 2001 brownface photo published by Time magazine

Here is the full transcript of Trudeau’s apology in English, minus the remarks in French:

Justin Trudeau: In 2001, I was a teacher out in Vancouver. I attended an end-of-year gala and the theme was Arabian Nights. I dressed up in an Alladin costume and put makeup on. I shouldn’t have done that. I should’ve known better. But I didn’t. And I’m really sorry.

Reporter: Do you think you should resign? (Inaudible)

Justin Trudeau: I think there are people who’ve made mistakes … in this life. Then you make decisions based on what they actually do, what they did and on the case-by-case basis. I deeply regret that we — that I did that.

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Justin Trudeau: I should’ve known better. But I didn’t.

Reporter: How do you feel about this coming up right now in the campaign?

Justin Trudeau: Obviously I regret that I did it. It’s not about timing, it’s about having done something that I shouldn’t have done and I’m really sorry I did.

Reporter: Have you done something like this, Mr. Trudeau? Is that the only time in your life you’ve ever done something like that?

Justin Trudeau: When I was in high school, I, uh, dressed up at a, uh, talent show and sang Day O, with, with makeup on.

Reporter: Mr. Trudeau, what do you say to racialized Canadians who are likely going to be offended by seeing these photos and hearing about what you also did in high school?

Justin Trudeau: I regret it deeply. I am deeply sorry that I did that, I should have known better. Uh, but I didn’t. And I did that and I shouldn’t have done that.

Reporter: Why is this coming out now?

Justin Trudeau: Listen, it was something that I shouldn’t have done many years ago, uh, and I recognize that I shouldn’t have done it.

Reporter: Will you resign? Will you resign? Many in the United States, when they’ve been discovered with these sort of things, they are asked to resign. Have you given thought to [resigning]?

Justin Trudeau: Uh, I take responsibility for my decision to do that. I shouldn’t have done it. I should have known better. It was something that I didn’t think was racist at the time, but now I recognize it was something racist to do, and I am deeply sorry.

Reporter: And I wondered if you might place a call tonight to Jagmeet Singh, to Amarjeet Sohi, to Harjit Sajjan, if you have any words to say to some of your staff who may find this offensive.

Justin Trudeau: I have made a number of calls to friends and colleagues tonight, and I will have many more colleagues, many more calls to make.

Reporter: The Conservatives say you’re not as advertised. How can you look at Canadians and tell them that’s not true?

Justin Trudeau: I have worked all my life to try and create opportunities for people to fight against racism and intolerance. And I can just stand here and say that I made a mistake when I was younger, and I wish I hadn’t. I should have known better then, but I didn’t. And I did it. And I am deeply sorry for it.

Reporter: If one of your Candidates had come out with one of these photos during a campaign, would an apology had been enough for you to allow them to stay?

Justin Trudeau: We would make that decision on a case-by-case basis and look at all the factors involved. But I can’t answer a hypothetical on that.

Reporter: Why should you be allowed to stay?

Justin Trudeau: Um, I’m going to be asking Canadians to forgive me for what I did. I shouldn’t have done that. I take responsibility for it. It was a dumb thing to do. I’m disappointed in myself; I’m pissed off at myself for having done it. I wish I hadn’t done it, but I did it and I apologize for it.

Reporter: Why has it taken so long for you to apologize for this, you’ve know that this happened a long time ago.

Justin Trudeau: I’ve been…. I’ve been forthright when this has came forward that it is something that I regret deeply having done.

Reporter: Your research team has been hammering the conservatives on social media. We’ve been told privately there’s an arsenal of things still to come for inappropriate social media behaviour in the past. Is all of that — but how could you credibly do something like that now, in the middle of a campaign after what we’ve all seen tonight?

Justin Trudeau: I’ve taken responsibility for, for having made a real mistake in the past. I stand here before Canadians, as I will throughout this campaign, and talk about the work we have to do to make a better country together. And I’m going to continue to stay focused on that and continue to work to fight intolerance and discrimination, even though obviously I made a mistake in the past.

Reporter: What does this mean for your campaign?

Justin Trudeau: This means that I’m going to continue to work very hard to demonstrate to Canadians that I’m always going to try and take responsibility for my mistakes, but always work towards a better future for all Canadians. I have a big day in Winnipeg tomorrow where I’m going to be meeting with Canadians, we’re going to continue getting out there across the country and talking about the kind of future we all need to roll up our sleeves and build.

Reporter: How do you feel about other candidates who may have made mistakes on social media? (Rest of question inaudible.)

Justin Trudeau: I think this is something like everything that you have to evaluate on a case-by-case basis. This is something that I take seriously and I take responsibility for. I’m pissed off at myself, obviously. I’m disappointed in myself. And I’m apologizing to Canadians.

Reporter: What is taking responsibility here? What is the consequence for you? For a lot of your candidates, this would be at least a call to resignation.

Justin Trudeau: This would be a call for important conversations with all those candidates and a real stake in taking stock in the path forward, and I’m having conversations with, with my colleagues, with fellow candidates and I’m going to be continuing to having conversations with Canadians about this and about many other things that we’re hoping to work together on one positively.

Reporter: You’ve said you had conversations with individuals probably over the last hour. In talking to racialized members of your cabinet, in your caucus, what did they say to you? Are they disappointed?

Justin Trudeau: Um, what I’ve said to them [is] what I’m saying here. How I —

Reporter: What did they think of you?

Justin Trudeau: I’ve said to them what I am saying here. How I take responsibility for it. How I did something that I really shouldn’t have done and I’m disappointed and pissed off at myself. What they said, quite frankly, I am touched by having as thoughtful a team around me as I have.

Reporter: When did your team know about this? What did they find out?

Justin Trudeau: I’ve been talking to candidates to see… I’ve been talking to my fellow candidates tonight.

Reporter: Did you know about this before? That this was going to break before the event this afternoon?

Justin Trudeau: I found out, I found today that it was going to break tonight.

Reporter: When did you tell your team that you had done this? When did you let them know?

Justin Trudeau: We’ve had conversations about this over the past, over the past while, but the reality is that we’ve gotta continue to focus on fighting discrimination.

Reporter: You didn’t tell, you didn’t tell them about this till recently?

Justin Trudeau: I talked about it recently, yes.

Reporter: The woman in the photograph, you’re touching her in a very familiar way. Were you in a relationship with her?

Justin Trudeau: She was a close friend.

Reporter: Was this photo racist in your opinion?

Justin Trudeau: Yes. Yes, it was — I didn’t consider it a racist action at the time, but now we know better and this was something that was unacceptable and yes, racist.

Reporter: Within the last year, the governor of Virginia was found taking pictures in blackface. Did you not think at that time, maybe I should say something to my friends and colleagues about something I did? We’ve seen other celebrities, comedians also confront this sort of behaviour — didn’t you think at that time, jeez, I’m a politician and I’ve done that, maybe I should say something?

Justin Trudeau: This is part of the reflections we all have to have on how we judge the mistakes that we’ve made in the past, how we take responsibility for them and mostly, how we keep moving forward as a society recognizing that we do need to do more to fight anti black racism, systemic discrimination, unconscious bias, all these things that are present that I’m certainly not immune from. I think there is a, certainly a significant reflection that, that I’ve had over the past while on this and if it leads other people to have reflections, then that’s a good thing. But this is very much about me taking responsibility for an action I really shouldn’t have done.

Reporter: Did you understand why it’s racist to wear blackface? Did you explain that? Why it is racist to wear blackface?

Justin Trudeau: I think it’s … well-known that communities and people who live with intersectionalities and face discrimination, the likes of which I have never personally had to experience is, uh, is a significant thing that is very hurtful, and that’s why I am so deeply disappointed in myself.

Reporter: Why didn’t you tell people sooner?

Justin Trudeau: This is a time where we’re focused on moving forward as a country and we’re continuing —

Reporter: Why didn’t you tell people about this?

Justin Trudeau [00:11:15] I’m talking about it now.

Reporter: How are you going to explain this to your children?

Justin Trudeau: I’m gonna have a conversation with them tomorrow morning before they go to school about taking responsibility for mistakes you make. About living up every day to try and be a better person. Recognizing that when you make mistakes you have to take responsibility for it, you have to own up for it, and you have to promise to do better. That’s what I expect of my kids, that’s how I’m going to be raising them. And that’s certainly the conversation I’m going to be having with them tomorrow.

Reporter: Why would you launch an attack you did on the Conservatives knowing you had this in your background? This seems like a terrible mistake, knowing you’ve done something like this.

Justin Trudeau: I think the fact is that I look forward to having conversations about how we move forward as a society, how we move forward as individuals. If everyone who is going to be standing for office needs to demonstrate that they’ve been perfect every step of their lives, um, there’s going to be a shortage of people running for office. I think what is important is that, yes, people get challenged on mistakes they’ve made in the past — that they recognize those mistakes. And they pledge to do better. That’s what we expect of people.

Reporter: Andrew Scheer was gonna to do that with his candidates and he has said so a few days ago, that people should be forgiven. And it didn’t seem to me like many Liberals are ready to grant him the time of day for that.

Justin Trudeau: I certainly accept that people can make choices about who they choose to run with and who they choose to have as candidates.

Reporter: Mr. Trudeau, you’ve mentioned the incident in high school, we just found out about the photo tonight. Do you want to tell Canadians about any other instances where you were concerned that you were racist, or had blackface or brownface on?

Justin Trudeau: I think, I think it’s been plenty. The fact of the matter is that I’ve always, and you’ll know this, been more enthusiastic about costumes than is somehow, is sometimes appropriate. But these are the situations that, that I’m correcting.

Reporter: Is it the only two or are there more?

Justin Trudeau: These are the situations that I regret.

Reporter: Mr. Trudeau, when you go to sleep tonight and you’re reflecting on this day, what are you going to do?

Justin Trudeau: I’m going to be thinking about how much harder I’m going to have to continue to work to demonstrate to Canadians that I’m focused on building a better world with less discrimination, less intolerance, and less racism, and that this choice that I made many years ago, which was the wrong choice, and one that I regret deeply, I need to, I am owning up to it, and I am going to focus on moving forward.

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Trump signs name on new border wall, calls it a ‘world class security system’ – Global News

September 18th, 2019

President Donald Trump signed his name Wednesday on a newly constructed section of the U.S.-Mexico border wall, calling it a “world-class security system” that will be virtually impenetrable.

Trump toured a section of the border wall in San Diego’s Otay Mesa area. It was a return trip for the president, who travelled there in March 2018 to see border wall prototypes that authorities later destroyed to make way for 22.4 kilometres of steel, concrete-filled bollards currently under construction.

President Donald Trump signs his name as he tours a section of the southern border wall, Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019, in Otay Mesa, Calif.

President Donald Trump signs his name as he tours a section of the southern border wall, Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019, in Otay Mesa, Calif.

(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

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Before construction began, the border in Otay Mesa was protected with low fencing.

READ MORE: A significant Trump promise takes shape — border wall work starts in Arizona

“It was like a sheet metal and people would just knock it over like just routinely,” Trump said, standing with construction workers and top Customs, Army Corps of Engineers and homeland security officials.

Mark Morgan, acting commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, said that since construction has begun on the new barrier, 30 to 50 people a day are trying to cross there instead of 300 to 500.

“The traffic in this sector has dropped dramatically,” Morgan said.

WATCH: Trump says 500 miles of wall will be built by 2020 election

Morgan defended the project, dismissing those who call it the “president’s vanity wall.”

“I’m here to tell you that’s false,” he said, telling reporters that Trump reached out to border experts to find out what they needed. “You listened to the agents,” he told Trump.

Trump highlighted features of the wall, which he said have been studied by three other countries. He said the wall absorbs heat _ “You can fry an egg on that wall.” The concrete goes deep into the ground to prevent tunneling. And agents can see through it to spot possible threats on the Mexican side of the border, he said.

“When the wall is built, it will be virtually impossible to come over illegally, and then we’re able to take border control and put them at points of entry,” Trump said.

He heaped praise on the Mexican government, especially for sending tens of thousands of troops to its northern and southern borders to help slow the flow of migrants headed toward the United States. He said President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador “has been great.”

WATCH: U.S. Supreme Court lets Trump use military funds for border wall

“We’re all thrilled,” Trump said. “You know Mexico has never done anything to impede people from pouring into our country and now they’re doing just the opposite. They’ve really been incredible.”

The president reveled in details of construction, saying Border Patrol and military officials persuaded him to adopt more expensive designs. He said he dropped a preference for solid concrete, instead opting for concrete-filled steel bollards that allow agents to see through to Mexico to spot assailants throwing rocks or other projectiles. He agreed to go along with barriers that are 30 feet high and double-layered in heavily travelled areas.

“It’s the Rolls-Royce version,” Trump said.

READ MORE: Trump to use $3.6 billion in defence money to build wall, in ‘slap’ to military: senator

When Trump asked Army Corps Lt. Gen. Todd Semonite to explain how technology embedded in the wall alerts agents to illegal activity, he was told, “Sir, there could be some merit in not discussing it.”

Semonite offered new details on the pace of construction that underscored how quickly the administration plans to move.

It has built 106 kilometres so far, has 403 kilometres in various stages of construction at 17 sites and contracts for 262 kilometres planned in the next 90 days, the general said. Additional land on private property is expected to take more time.

Crews are installing 270 panels a day, each one with eight bollards.

WATCH: Supreme Court allows $2.5 billion for Trump’s border wall

Trump, whose construction targets have shifted, said he expects to build up to about kilometres of wall along the 3,126-kilometre border and said the administration will pause at about 643 kilometres to assess what more is needed.

Trump said cost concerns led him to put aside his preference to paint the wall black, which absorbs heat. He said the wall was “a good, strong rust colour” and could be painted later.

Trump is riding a string of wins on the wall and on immigration in general. Arrests on the Mexican border arrests plunged in August, well beyond the usual summer dip, from a 13-year high reached in May. Arrests are still relatively high, topping 50,000 in 10 of the last 11 months, compared with only eight months over the previous decade.

READ MORE: Trump’s border wall to pull funds from military schools, daycares: Pentagon

Last week, the Supreme Court gave Trump a green light to deny asylum to anyone who passes through another country on the way to the U.S. border with Mexico without having first sought protection in the third country.

The Pentagon recently diverted US$3.6 billion from 127 military construction projects to build 280 kilometres of barriers on the border. Trump had promised during the 2016 presidential campaign that Mexico would pay for the wall.

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Trudeau apologizes for racist brownface photo from 2001, acknowledges second incident in high school – The Globe and Mail

September 18th, 2019

2001 yearbook photo of Justin Trudeau in brownface while teaching at West Point Grey Academy.

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau admitted Wednesday that he twice dressed up in racist makeup, and apologized for a practice he says he now knows is wrong.

“I shouldn’t have done that. I should have known better but I didn’t and I’m really sorry,” Mr. Trudeau said in a Halifax press conference on his campaign plane. “I didn’t consider it a racist action at the time but now we know better. And this was something that was unacceptable and, yes, racist.”

Time magazine published a yearbook photograph on Wednesday showing Mr. Trudeau in brownface when he was 29. Mr. Trudeau said he dressed up in an Aladdin costume and wore “makeup” at an Arabian Nights-themed gala in 2001 in Vancouver. The event was held by the private school where he was a teacher.

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He avoided using the term brownface, but the 18-year-old photo shows him with his face, neck and hands painted brown and wearing a turban and robes. Mr. Trudeau also admitted that he wore “makeup” in high school when he performed the Jamaican folk tune Banana Boat Song.

The controversy comes one week into a five week election campaign in which Mr. Trudeau is asking voters for a second term in government. The Liberals have made the social-media history of other parties’ candidates a major issue in the first eight days of the campaign and have called for several Conservative candidates to be ousted.

Mr. Trudeau suggested to reporters that public perceptions about the practice have changed since he dressed in brownface in 2001 − an assertion El Jones, a lecturer at Saint Mary’s University, called “ludicrous.”

“Justin Trudeau may not have been aware that this was racist 20 years ago, but certainly people who are affected by it have been well aware for centuries,” Ms. Jones said.

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau says he deeply regrets wearing brownface at an “Arabian-Nights”-themed costume party at a private Vancouver school in 2001.

Mr. Trudeau’s apology was criticized by former MP Celina Caesar-Chavannes, who left the Liberal caucus earlier this year.

“The privilege continues. There is no excuse for this. Apology is a first step. You should be aware of the history of #blackface and racism in this country and others. Apparently #diversityisourstrength? Deeply disappointed,” Ms. Caesar-Chavannes said.

Dressing in blackface or brownface has a long and painful history. The racist practice is often used to portray people through “degrading and dehumanizing stereotypes,” Ms. Jones said.

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Mr. Trudeau said he has been making calls to colleagues to apologize for his actions and chart a course forward but said it’s not cause for him to resign.

“I’m going to be asking Canadians to forgive me,” he said.

Opinion: The offence was not just Trudeau’s makeup, but also the silence

One of the people Mr. Trudeau called Wednesday was Liberal candidate Omar Alghabra, who was born in Saudi Arabia to a Syrian family. In an interview Wednesday night, Mr. Alghabra said the Liberal Leader apologized and asked for his advice.

“I told him to be upfront and to own the mistake,” said Mr. Alghabra, who acknowledged to being upset and concerned by the photo, but also ready to forgive.

“As disappointing as it is, it’s not that hard for me to get over it, because I’ve seen him act in public and in private and I’ve seen what he’s done for many people who are marginalized or being victimized by stereotypes or racism.”

Canada is in its first election campaign in which one of the main parties is being led by a person who is a racial minority. NDP Jagmeet Singh is a turbaned Sikh, who took the helm of the party two years ago.

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At a campaign stop in Toronto Wednesday evening Mr. Singh said dressing up in blackface or brownface makes a “mockery” of racialized people who, because of the colour of their skin, “face challenges and barriers and obstacles in their life.”

Mr. Singh said the picture shows a “pattern of behaviour” from the Liberal Leader. “We see one Mr. Trudeau in public, that I’ll be honest with you seems really nice, very friendly, very warm in public, but behind closed doors, he seems like a different Mr. Trudeau.”

The NDP Leader pointed to Mr. Trudeau’s comment at a fundraiser to First Nations protesters where he thanked them for their donation when they were escorted out for protesting. “Who is the real Mr. Trudeau?” Mr Singh asked.

Ms. Jones said Mr. Singh’s presence in the campaign puts Mr. Trudeau’s use of the racist makeup in stark context. During the campaign, Mr. Singh has been faced with questions about whether Canadians are ready to vote for a party led by a leader wearing a turban.

“Racialized people are constantly faced with these stereotypes and have to prove that they are not those stereotypes, whereas white people can put on these costumes and stereotypes for fun,” Ms. Jones said.

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer said he is “extremely shocked and disappointed” by the revelations.

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“Wearing brownface is an act of open mockery and racism. It was just as racist in 2001 as it is in 2019. What Canadians saw this evening is someone with a complete lack of judgment and integrity and someone who’s not fit to govern this country,” Mr. Scheer said from Sherbrooke, Que.

The National Council of Canadian Muslims had earlier called on Mr. Trudeau to make a “complete apology” for the “reprehensible” picture.

“While we recognize that this picture was taken many years ago and that people can evolve and change, it is critically important that the Prime Minister apologize for taking part in blackface and commits to doing better in the future,”said Mustafa Farooq, the association’s executive director.

Green Party Leader Elizabeth May said she is “deeply shocked by the racism” shown in the picture. “He must apologize for the harm done and commit to learning and appreciating the requirement to model social justice leadership at all levels of government. In this matter he has failed,” she said on Twitter.

Mr. Trudeau said he’s “pissed off” at himself and disappointed in his past actions.

With a report from The Canadian Press

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New Jersey Town Finds Mosquitoes Carrying Deadly Brain-Infecting Virus, Pesticide Spraying Begins – msnNOW

September 18th, 2019

a insect on the ground
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BERKELEY HEIGHTS, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – A rare and potentially deadly mosquito-borne illness has been detected in Union County, New Jersey.

The virus has surfaced in several states recently and has already been linked to a number of deaths in the Northeast.

Parks and fields are getting sprayed with pesticides in Berkeley Heights after mosquitoes in the Emerson Lane area – near the Warren Township border – tested positive Tuesday for Eastern Equine Encephalitis.

MORE: Mosquitoes Carrying Deadly Brain-Infecting Virus Found In A Dozen Connecticut Towns

“I have three grandchildren and it’s scary,” Adriana Austin said.

“I sit outside a lot so I’ll start putting on bug spray,” Brian Esnes added.

EEE is spread by mosquitoes to horses and humans.

In severe cases, the virus can cause swelling in the brain, leading to death.

Common symptoms include fever, chills, and muscle and joint pain.

According to the CDC, about a third of infected patients die and many who survive experience ongoing neurological problems.

“Make sure you have long sleeves long pants bug spray any time you go out dusk to dawn. Also please remove any standing water,” Berkeley Heights Mayor Angie Devanney warned.

The CDC says on average, seven people contract EEE in the U.S. each year.

So far this year there are at least 20 human cases reported across six states – including Connecticut and New Jersey. Deaths have been reported in Michigan, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island.

Health officials add that there is also no human vaccine for EEE, making it even more dangerous.

“I’m scared because my daughter is the type who goes outside and mosquitoes like go right to her so and she’s at softball now so we lathered her up real good and keep our fingers crossed,” Barbara Roberts said.

The outbreak is so concerning in Michigan residents there are being told to stay indoors.

“The state board is encouraging us don’t cancel practice don’t cancel those games just make sure you’re wearing bug spray and protective clothing,” Mayor Devanney said.

Children under the age of 15 and adults over 50 are at the greatest risk.

Town officials in New Jersey say they will continue testing mosquitoes regularly until the first frost.


South Asian and Arab groups react to Justin Trudeau wearing brownface in 2001 photo – CTV News

September 18th, 2019

TORONTO – South Asian and Arab groups are reacting to a 2001 image of Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau in brownface, calling on him to follow-up his apology with action.

Trudeau apologized late Wednesday after the photo emerged. It was published in a yearbook from West Point Grey Academy in Vancouver, B.C, where Trudeau worked as a teacher.

Mustafa Farooq, Executive Director of the National Council of Canadian Muslims, speaking to CTV News Channel

There’s room for everyone to learn from their mistakes, to come back. It’s not really my call as to whether the prime minister should or shouldn’t step down. That’s a decision he and Canadians are going to think about.

As a non-partisan organization, we can say clearly that, what’s unacceptable is for people to say things that are racist, say things that are Islamophobic, say things that are anti-Semitic, and then to insist on those positions, or to not appropriately ground their apologies in the real harm or hurt that’s been caused.

For example, if we look at Ghada Melek, who’s a candidate in Mississauga Streetsville. You know, her apology regarding sharing hateful posts … The apology that she sent was to leader Andrew Scheer, not to the Muslim community, never once using the word Islamophobia in talking about her apology. So I think we have to look at each case context by context, and we are happy that the prime minister has apologized.

Clearly, the photographs were not acceptable, but we are pleased the prime minister has recognized that they’re not acceptable, that they’re repugnant, and that they have no place in our politics.

University of Ottawa professor Noor El-Kadri, President of the Canadian Arab Federation, speaking to CTV News Channel

This is outrageous. It is racist to the bone. At a time when we see Mr. Trudeau — he’s talking a lot about inclusion and diversity and all these things, this uncovers what is inherent within him. This is truly not the son of Pierre Elliott Trudeau.

We would accept that if that happened for somebody who was 17 years old at a Halloween party, but not for somebody who was 29 years old, who was a teacher, who was the son of Pierre Elliott Trudeau, who was very knowledgeable of politics, of racism, of inclusion, of multiculturalism. In fact, if he grew to 29 as such … he has to come up with an apology and follow up that apology with a lot of action, rather than just words.

If Pierre Elliott Trudeau was alive back then, he would not have allowed his son to do such a costume. It would show inherent racism, for communities in Canada that are marginalized, for communities that are trying to be included, for communities that face racism day-in day-out … to be portrayed in one form or another by someone who is the son of a prime minister … and now is a current prime minister.

Statement from the World Sikh Organization of Canada

The PM has apologized and we acknowledge his apology.  

We hope that this focus on racism will encourage all party leaders to address the discrimination many face as a result of Quebec’s#Bill21 with strong positions and solutions to combat intolerance across Cda.#BattleBill21

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How the Bloods and Tekashi 6ix9ine used each other – Page Six

September 18th, 2019

Rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine rode the Bloods gang’s coattails to stardom — but he was little more than a punching bag that the gang kept around as a cash dispenser, it was revealed in Manhattan federal court on Wednesday.

The rainbow-haired rhymester, 23, put up a tough persona as he glommed onto the Nine Trey Gangsta Bloods in music videos and on his Instagram account, where he eventually racked up nearly 15 million followers.

But behind the scenes, gangbangers mocked him as a poser, repeatedly calling him a “rainbow-haired s–thead,” according to testimony on Wednesday.

He hung out with the gang for his “career, credibility, street credibility, videos, music, the protection,” said Tekashi — who turned government witness “the day after” he was ­arrested for gang ties on Nov. 19, 2018, and is now testifying against former associates Anthony “Harv” Ellison and Aljermiah “Nuke” Mack.

But the gang benefitted from the chart-topping artist’s largesse — with Tekashi paying it for protection and picking up the tabs for champagne and girls at Queens strip clubs, law ­enforcement sources said.

Members even skimmed his take from concert performances and endorsements. “Say I would get $250,000, they would give me like $185,000 and take the rest,” Tekashi testified.

He suffered another indignity in March 2018 when his crew robbed a rival at gunpoint and then kicked Tekashi out of the car with the piece so they wouldn’t get “stitched up” if the cops pulled them over.

The rapper was miffed he was left in the lurch in a place where he was bound to be recognized.

“I’m like bro, ‘I’m f–king famous at this point,’” he recalled saying when getting pushed out. The self-proclaimed “King of New York” glorified drive-by shootings and the gangsta life in his lyrics. But unlike hip-hop stars of the past, for whom gangs were a means of survival, Tekashi came to the rap game first and infiltrated a crew later.

Born Daniel Hernandez, the tatted-up rapper grew up in a tiny Bushwick apartment on Locust Street near Broadway that he shared with his Mexican-immigrant mother and other family members. When he was 13, his adoptive father was shot down in broad daylight.

Soon after, he began acting out, getting expelled from Juan Morel Campos Secondary School in eighth grade.

He worked odd jobs, including as a delivery boy, at a grocery store working the register, as a busboy, but in 2014 he decided he was meant for greater things.

He began launching his music career and came up with his alter ego. Inspired by Japanese anime, he adopted the name Tekashi and then tagged on the suggestive “69,” a number he reportedly has tattooed on his body more than 200 times.

At first, he says his genre was more “rock ’n’ roll rap” and most of his fans — or at least those watching his YouTube videos — were from Slovakia. He went on a brief tour there and in other Eastern European countries in 2014, a stint that only netted him about $2,000, he said.

Tekashi’s first run-in with a member of the Rikers Island-spawned Nine Trey crew didn’t happen until the summer of 2017, while he was working on his hit song “Gummo” and met hip-hopper Seqo Billy.

Everyone in the video for the song wore red because “red is what a Blood member would wear,” Tekashi testified on Tuesday.

Through Seqo Billy, Tekashi met his future manager Kifano Jordan, aka “Shotti,” who was sentenced to 15 years behind bars in September in connection with his role as a high-ranking member of the street gang.

Tekashi began running with the gang, though he was never officially initiated.

There were holes in his image. As The Post reported last July, a red “Bloods” Chevy Tahoe that was featured in Tekashi’s “Tati” music video had a pro-cop “thin blue line” sticker on the passenger side of the rear window.

Eventually, peeved that the gang was taking too much of his earnings, Tekashi began pulling away in the summer of 2018. In July 2018, he was allegedly kidnapped by Ellison and a man identified only as “Shaw” and forced to disavow his membership in the violent street crew.

“Harv made me say, three times, ‘I’m not Billy,’ ” testified Tekashi on Wednesday, referring to slang for Blood loyalists.

Tensions peaked last fall when Tekashi was at Midtown hot spot Philippe Chow celebrating dodging jail time in a years-old sex crimes case and a handler from music label 10K Projects turned away Shotti and crew.

His life was reportedly threatened on an FBI-obtained wiretap over the snub.

The rapper, whose latest album is titled “Dummy Boy,” faces up to 47 years in prison — though his cooperation could result in a much more lenient sentence.

Additional reporting by Elizabeth Rosner


Apple communications chief Steve Dowling is leaving the company –

September 18th, 2019

Detroit Youth Choir comes in second on ‘AGT’ — and wins everybody’s hearts – Detroit Free Press

September 18th, 2019


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They took home the silver!

The Detroit Youth Choir, which united its hometown with an impressive run on NBC’s “America’s Got Talent,” made it all the way to second place on Wednesday night.

It was a tremendous ending for a season that already had allowed the group’s 52 members, ages 8 to 18, to win everyone’s hearts.

“You’ve been amazing, Detroit!” shouted host Terry Crews in a final salute to the young performers.

The “AGT” winner was blind and autistic singer Kodi Lee, who will get a $1 million prize and a headlining stint at the Paris Las Vegas theater Nov. 7-10.

The live two-hour results show mixed fun performances and nerve-racking suspense, as the 10 acts competing in the finals waited to see who would triumph.  

Roughly 90 minutes into the show, Crews began announcing the top five finalists. As the Motor City held its collective breath, DYC got the last spot in the final five.

More: Cass Tech alum performs with Cher on ‘America’s Got Talent’ finals

More: Why Detroit Youth Choir sang the same song on ‘America’s Got Talent’ finals

By the time there were only two acts left with a chance of winning, DYC and Lee, the tension felt like waiting to find out whether the Tigers, Lions, Red Wings or Pistons would win a championship title.

The lengthy results show filled much of its time by teaming up finalists with celebrities like Billy Ray Cyrus, Leona Lewis and pianist Lang Lang for one farewell performance.

A real superstar, pop icon Cher, appeared to perform “Waterloo” from her Abba tribute album, “Dancing Queen” — and she was backed by a group of dancers that included a Cass Tech alum, DuJuan Smart Jr.

The Detroit choir had a nice moment at the opening of the live two-hour show when rapper-songwriter Macklemore joined members onstage for yet another repeat of his hit — and, now, the choir’s signature tune — “Can’t Hold Us.”

DYC made a big splash back in June when it sang “Can’t Hold Us” for its “AGT” on-air audition. So far, its interpretation has drawn more than 10 million views on YouTube.

On Tuesday, the group again sang “Can’t Hold Us” for the finals, adding fresh choreography to put a new spin on the anthem that embodies members’ positive attitude with lyrics like “the ceiling can’t hold us.”

DYC became a favorite of viewers and the judges early on, earning a golden buzzer from Crews in June that put it straight into the quarterfinals.

During the season, the group moved judge Gabrielle Union to tears and inspired judge Simon Cowell to call it “bloody fantastic.”

On Monday, Detroit’s Mayor Mike Duggan announced that the Spirit of Detroit statue would be dressed in a purple vest and bow tie — the choir’s trademark uniform — for this week’s final “AGT” episodes.

After Wednesday’s show, Duggan praised DYC on Twitter: “Congratulations to the Detroit Youth Choir. You inspired a country — and left our city with memories that will last forever! True winners!


Holding back tears, Terry Crews saw a piece of himself in the Detroit Youth Choir. Then, he hit the golden buzzer. USA TODAY

The choir members approached Wednesday’s show ready for either outcome, according to artistic director Anthony White.

“At this point, just by us being in the finals, we’ve won,” he told the Detroit Free Press Tuesday night after the show’s last night of competition. “Win or lose, I think, when we get back to the city, we might have a building, we might have some transportation for our young people. We might have all of that waiting for us when we get back home. I can’t wait to see what’s going on in Detroit.”

At 4 p.m. Friday at Campus Martius Park, the city will welcome home the group’s members at a celebration hosted by WDIV-TV (Local 4) anchor Kimberly Gill, who traveled to Los Angeles to cover the group’s championship attempt.

Next up for the group will be appearances in America’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in downtown Detroit and at the Hob Nobble Gobble on Nov. 22 the annual black tie bash for 2,000 guests that benefits the Parade Company. 

There’s also a very good chance DYC will perform at a Detroit Lions halftime show. The choir was scheduled to be there for Sunday’s Lions victory against the L.A. Chargers at Ford Field, but it had to cancel after making it through to the “AGT” finals.

Contact Detroit Free Press pop culture writer Julie Hinds: 313-222-6427 or

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The offence was not just Trudeau’s makeup, but also the silence – The Globe and Mail

September 18th, 2019

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau arrives before making a statement in regards to photo coming to light of himself from 2001 wearing brownface during a scrum on his campaign plane in Halifax on Sept. 18, 2019.

Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press

There was absolutely no excuse for Justin Trudeau darkening his skin with makeup in 2001 as part of a costume. He said on Wednesday night that he now realizes the act was racist. He should have known it then.

But that is not the biggest problem. The biggest problem is that for 18 years, he kept silent about it. The offence lay not only in the act, but in the silence.

This election is about who voters should trust to lead this country in difficult times. How can they trust a leader who committed a racist act and then kept it hidden, hoping no one would find out?

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Mr. Trudeau has a theatrical nature, and a fondness for colourful clothing, as we learned during his trip to India. “I’ve always … been more enthusiastic about costumes than is sometimes appropriate,” he half-joked to reporters on Wednesday night as he apologized for wearing brownface at an Arabian Nights-themed gala for the private school where he taught.

But he must have known in 2001 the deep offence of white people wearing blackface to mock people with darker skin. Remember, Mr. Trudeau was already a public figure when he put on that makeup; the year before, he had delivered a eulogy at his father’s funeral that had caught the nation’s attention.

There was plenty of time between 2001 and today for the Liberal Leader to acknowledge that in the past he had worn an offensive, racist costume, that he had acted thoughtlessly, but that life is a progress toward greater enlightenment. If he had done that, the photograph would have had much less impact.

But Mr. Trudeau is not one to apologize. He offered only a half-hearted apology when the Ethics Commissioner found he had violated the Conflict of Interest Act by taking a family vacation on the private island of the Aga Khan.

He has not apologized for attempting to influence the criminal prosecution on fraud and bribery charges of the engineering company SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. – which led to the resignation of two cabinet ministers and which the Ethics Commissioner ruled was another violation of the act.

This time, of course, he had no choice but to apologize. “I should have known better, but I didn’t, and I’m really sorry,” he told reporters on Wednesday evening. But he never properly addressed the question of not acknowledging what he had done in the 18 years before being confronted with the photograph.

This is a leader who condemned Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer for a speech he gave in the House of Commons in 2005 opposing same-sex marriage. This is a party that has tried to centre this election campaign on inappropriate statements of some Conservative candidates on social media and elsewhere.

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We all know that if a photo surfaced of a Tory candidate wearing that makeup, the Liberals would be baying to have them ejected from the campaign. If this photo were of any Liberal candidate other than the leader, that candidate would not be long for this political world.

“You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” (Matthew 7:5.)

At the least, this furor will derail the Liberal campaign for several days. At the worst, it will permanently tarnish Mr. Trudeau’s reputation in the eyes of some voters. You should never have to ask of a prime minister: “What were you thinking?”

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh said that, by wearing brownface, Mr. Trudeau was “making a mockery” of people with darker skin. “What does that say about what he thinks about people who, because of who they are, because of the colour of their skin, face obstacles and barriers and challenges in their life?”

That’s not an accusation you would have expected to be leveled at Justin Trudeau before Wednesday night.

“This is about me taking responsibility,” Mr. Trudeau told reporters. No, it isn’t. It is about not taking responsibility, and then apologizing when you get caught.

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All those years, when he could have told us himself, he didn’t. That is what he should be ashamed of. That is what voters need to think about.

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Hudson Brooks’ family ‘devastated, shocked and disgusted’ Surrey Mountie no longer charged – Global News

September 18th, 2019

The mother of Hudson Brooks says she’s “disgusted” with Crown council after charges were stayed against a Surrey Mountie for her role in the 20-year-old’s death.

Hudson was shot nine times outside the Surrey RCMP detachment on 152 Street in July 2015 after attacking Const. Elizabeth Cucheran and another officer.

Cucheran fired her gun 12 times, hitting herself once in the process.

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Following an investigation by the Independent Investigation Office, Cucheran was charged with aggravated assault and assault with a weapon in December 2017.

READ MORE: Charges stayed against Surrey Mountie in fatal shooting of Hudson Brooks

But prosecutors said Wednesday that evidence that came out during a preliminary hearing — including a concession from a use-of-force expert around Hudson’s drug-induced state — undermined the Crown’s case to the point where it no longer met the standard for charge approval.

Jennifer Brooks says she was “blindsided” by the news during a meeting with prosecutors earlier Wednesday, saying she and her family were prepared for legal proceedings to continue in December.

WATCH: (Jan. 9, 2018) Officer charged in shooting to appear in court

“We, on Dec. 22, were going to [B.C.] Supreme Court,” Brooks said. “Then they postponed nine times in a row. Then they held a meeting and blindsided me. How did we go from going to Supreme Court, from charging her, to absolutely zero charges? You tell me.

“I’m devastated, shocked and disgusted with Crown council that this has happened. … They couldn’t even put up a fight.”

Evidence released by the B.C. Prosecution Service (BCPS) along with the announcement says Hudson was wandering down the street near the detachment vandalizing vehicles and yelling “Kill me!”, “They’re going to kill me!”, and “Sorry mom!” after having “consumed significant quantities of alcohol and cocaine.”

He was wearing only a pair of boxer shorts and no shoes.

READ MORE: Officer charged in fatal police-involved shooting of Hudson Brooks

After coming across Cucheran and two other officers, Hudson charged towards Cucheran, who began shooting. Four of her shots hit Hudson when he was several metres away.

Initially, a use-of-force expert determined Cucheran had resorted to lethal force too early, in violation of RCMP procedure, and could have used a taser instead.

But that expert later reversed some of his opinion during the preliminary hearing, conceding that Brooks was likely in a state of “excited delirium” or cocaine psychosis, which would significantly change the use-of-force calculation — particularly involving a taser.

But Brooks says none of that matters.

WATCH: (Aug. 13, 2016) Anniversary of Hudson Brooks police involved death

“My son was not armed,” she said. “My son did not have shoes or a shirt on. So I don’t care what you say. You cannot justify the way my son was killed and murdered and nothing done.

“If this were anyone else in our society, don’t you think they’d be in jail? For shooting a young guy, unarmed?”

Brooks, her family and several friends held regular rallies and marches for years calling for charges to be laid, launching an online campaign under the banner #JusticeForHudson.

READ MORE: Surrey mother talks to IIO about son’s death

While the news of the charges was welcome at the time, she then had to sit through the same preliminary trial where the new statements were heard, which she says was hard to do — especially now that the charges have been stayed.

“I feel like I’ve been hit with a baseball bat,” she said. “All the marches we did, the youth were so peaceful and so respectful. All this, for what?”

Brooks says she’ll be seeking legal advice before taking any further action. She would not rule out an appeal or a civil suit.

WATCH: (July 19, 2016) Vigil for Hudson Brooks

She’s now worried this could set a dangerous precedent for police to justify using force against another young person in medical distress who needs help.

“Our communities, we all fought so hard for him and this is what they do to us,” she said. “Just horrible; just saying Hudson’s life doesn’t matter.

“I feel sorry for the next person, because guess what? This is sending a message that anybody can do this.”

—With files from Simon Little

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