"Whenever I go into a restaurant, I order both a chicken and an egg to see which comes first"

Friday, September 20, 2019

Justin Trudeau - Meaningless Apologies In The Sanctimonious Age Of Social McCarthyism

Peter Sellers played an Indian in The Party.  His imitations were spot on and hilarious.

Image result for peter sellers as an indian in movieImage result for peter sellers as an indian in movie

Eddy Murphy’s imitations of white people are just as funny, particularly his impressions of Jews.  His Jewish tailor in Coming to America was stereotypical, and his looks, accent, intonation, dress, and body language were perfect. 

Image result for eddie murphy coming to america images jewish tailor

The Wayans Brothers movie White Chicks was in the same comedic spirit.

Image result for images Movie White Chicks

Al Jolson, a popular Russian-Jewish vaudevillian actor of the 20s and 30s made his reputation and popular appeal performing in blackface.

Image result for al jolson in blackface

In all four cases the comedy is particularly funny because of the weird racial/ethnic/gender twists – Sellers was a white comedian playing on Indian stereotypes.  Eddie Murphy is a black man who does impeccable hilarious impersonations of white people.  The black Wayans brothers take this burlesque comedy to a completely other playing white girls.

So, of course Justin Trudeau performed in brownface as Aladdin and in Al Jolson-style blackface.  In the untamed, still adolescent college days of Trudeau’s Canadian youth, like in America, anything went.  It was a time for the ridiculous, the shameless, the fraternity, and the silly.  Men dressed up as women, whooped and hollered like Plains Indian, did the pimp walk, and performed as super-macho Tarzan pursuing Jane.   It was a freer, less concerned and far less sanctimonious time.

Mocking stereotypes is an time-honored comedic tradition in America, and was the stock-in-trade of the Borscht Belt comedians who could make fun of anyone.  As importantly, they never did it in a mean-spirited, ugly way.  Even those pilloried for their stereotypical behavior appreciated the humor – there was indeed something funny about the way new immigrants tried to be American and yet could never lose their roots in Sicily, Russia, Ireland, or Poland.  Skits about the blind, the crippled, and the deaf were funny because of luckless twists of fate, exaggerated humanity, and ungainliness. A man slipping on a banana peel and falling unceremoniously - ungainly, without decorum or social privilege is funny .  The skits were not meanspirited, hateful, or immoral.  They were simply funny, playing on everyone’s sense of human nature, life, and luck.

The point is not so much that Trudeau dressed up and acted in brown- and blackface, but that he apologized for it.  His apologies were senseless, meaningless, and irrelevant.  He had performed in a more open, less fragile society with little sanctimony and righteousness.  Had he committed an act that for the time was unconscionable – a hurtful, irresponsible act which reflected on his character and soul – then admission might be in order.  Not an apology, but an act of contrition, a willingness to confess to moral failure, a lack of rectitude, and ignorance.  Apologizing to no one in particular and everyone in general for a very understandable act which only in this oversensitive, fearful age of political correctness is concerned wrong. 

Image result for images justin trudeau

Anyone who is paying the slightest attention, sees Trudeau’s apologies for what they are – self-serving admissions designed only to minimize the political damage and fallout from the revelation of his youthful hijinks.  Trudeau knows that he did no wrong, that he has no need to apologize; but rather than be honest about the corrosive influence of reformist politics, the cult of inclusivity and identity, and the damages done to social integrity, he bends over, bends down, and plays into the hand of the Stalag Left.

Politicians have always apologized in as meaningless a way as Trudeau over far more serious accusations.  Many have had indefensible affairs and when finally exposed simply apologize.  “I am sorry that my actions have caused so much hurt and pain to my family, friends and colleagues”, they say, careful never to say they are sorry for the act itself. They are as adept at twisting apologies for their own ends as the English.   I didn’t do anything wrong, said Newt Gingrich after admitting infidelities while his wife was being treated for cancer:

Let's remember, Newt famously dumped wife #1 for wife #2 while wife #1 was in the hospital recovering from cancer surgery. As in literally went to the hospital to present her with divorce papers while she was recovering from surgery for uterine cancer.

He eventually dumped wife #2 for wife #3 shortly after wife #2 was diagnosed with MS back in 1999. And he was having the affair on wife #2 with wife #3 while he was turning the country upside down trying to drive Bill Clinton from office over his affair with Monica Lewinsky (Josh Marshall, New York Magazine 3.9.11)

John Edwards was no different:

When Edwards first admitted to the affair, he stated that Elizabeth was in remission from breast cancer. However, it became clear that the affair was still ongoing, even after he and his wife made a joint announcement that her cancer had returned and was found to be incurable. Elizabeth Edwards died on December 7, 2010. (Wikipedia)

Yes, he was philandering while his wife was dying.  Yes, he lied to her; and yes, he bribed an underling to say he was the father of Edwards’ illegitimate child; but he never apologized for wrong-doing, just for the hurt that he caused:

Edwards wrote in a statement, “It was wrong for me ever to deny she was my daughter and hopefully one day, when she understands, she will forgive me….To all those I have disappointed and hurt, these words will never be enough, but I am truly sorry.” (Keith Huffman, Washington POST, 1.22.10)

Mark Sanford, the former governor of South Carolina who lied to everyone about his affair and told the press that he was going hiking on the Appalachian Trail when he actually was headed to Buenos Aires to be with his firecracker, is now back in office as a Representative to the Congress of the United States. He apologized - abject apologies not for his dereliction of office, cheating on his wife, or for blatant lies, but for causing hurt and pain.

It is not surprising then that in this day of insincere apologies that whole countries feel the need to apologize.  Poor Queen Elizabeth was forced into apologizing for British atrocities in Kenya, convinced by her Prime Minister that such an apology for alleged murders of Mau Mau ‘freedom fighters’ would tighten the bond between the two countries.

The apology must have really stuck in the craw of the Queen, old enough to remember the glory days of Empire, when Kenya was the jewel in crown of British Africa, when her forbearers had brought civilization to the natives and prosperity to the land.  Her advisors of course had to tell her of the even more savage brutality of the Mau Mau who reputedly chopped up British soldiers and grilled them over charcoal in the Great Rift Valley.  The Queen must have had to practice her apology speech very hard indeed and muster all her English self-control to utter it.

The British don’t have to go back very far in history to find other events to apologize for -  the massacres of the Boer War, the Sepoy Rebellion, and Amritsar are just a few.  In keeping with the protocol of this Age of Apology, David Cameron, British Prime Minister, did offer an apology for Amritsar, but stopped short of making it official.  As he explained to reporters in Amritsar, history is history, after all, and you can’t change it.  So in proper British fashion he said ‘Sorry’ without really meaning it.

Amritsar Massacre

We are still waiting for the Mongolians to apologize for the outrages of Genghis Khan who killed at least 40 million people in his rampages out of the steppes to Europe and the Far East.

Image result for Images Genghis Khan

Recently Congress, feeling the growing pressures from the reformist Left passed a resolution apologizing for slavery and Jim Crow, but were careful to avoid any legal missteps and never waded into human rights territory.  No one voted ‘Nay’ and so Congress granted us all absolution for the past. We didn’t have to get fussed about anything.

Meaningless, empty political apologies such as those expressed by Justin Trudeau are shameless, venal, and hopelessly transparent.  There is nothing in his confessions to admire.

‘Racism’ has become a catch-all phrase which includes everything from the most serious and academic look at racial disparity in performance, crime, and education; to virulent expressions of hate for all black people.  To publicly declaim racism confers an automatic green card.  It is a sign of being ‘woke’, being born again as a newly aware, committed, and faithful follower of social justice and a signifier for all progressive causes – not only racism but homophobia, sexism, income inequality, violence, and xenophobia.

In other words it is a banner to fly, a badge of belonging, and a key to the right clubs; and under this banner progressives shout, ‘J’accuse!’, exposing anyone who falls short of their impossible standards of right.  They are the McCarthyites of the 21st century; and the likes of Justin Trudeau play into their antidemocratic, divisive hands.

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