PC Run Amuck

The so-called “scandal” facing Justin Trudeau is a clear case of political correctness going totally and insanely out of control. When Trudeau was a 29 year old teacher he dressed up as Aladdin for a costume party and applied make-up to his face. Now the PC police are screaming for his head.

For what exactly? In the first place Aladdin never existed. He’s totally fictional. Aladdin’s story is said to be taken from The Thousand and One Nights (also called The Arabian Nights), reputedly told by Scherherazade. Yet the tale of Aladdin wasn’t even in the original version of the tales, but in a French translation of the Arabic version by French scholar Antoine Galland in 1712 to which Galland added several new stories told to him by a Syrian named Ḥanna Diyab from Aleppo. “Aladdin and the Magical Lamp” was one of them. In both Galland’s version and Richard Burton’s popular 1885 English translation, Aladdin lives “in a city of the cities in China.” Illustrations of the tales from the Victorian era depict the story and its characters as Chinese.

So how is Trudeau racist? He went to a costume party as a fictional character from a pseudo-Arabic land that a story teller adapted from a Chinese setting. He wasn’t making derogatory remarks, nor was he demeaning anyone’s culture.

Yet the PC police seem unable to distinguish harmless and non-demeaning costume partying from real racism. The reason why “blackface” is demeaning and racist is because it replicates the traveling minstrel shows in the U.S. in the period of roughly 1880 to 1920, where white entertainers put on “blackface” and sang supposedly black/Negro songs while usually depicting black Americans in a negative or culturally condescending manner.

Trudeau did none of that – and going after him for depicting a fictional character from a non-existent land and only vaguely an Arabic culture is taking matters totally out of context.

If what Trudeau did is racist, then so is the musical Hamilton, because in that wildly successful musical actors of color are portraying noted white Founding Fathers, not always in the best of light. I don’t find the musical Hamilton racist, but the PC police should… that is, if they’re going to be true to their own “principles.”

2 thoughts on “PC Run Amuck”

  1. GABE says:

    Its a political hack job/ character assassination plot, mostly orchestrated by Trudeau’s opponents & Canadian conservatives.

  2. R. Hamilton says:

    “I don’t find the musical Hamilton racist, but the PC police should… that is, if they’re going to be true to their own ‘principles.’ ”

    The PC police are not symmetrical. Most claim that minorities are incapable of racism (although they may be capable of anger); only those in a society-wide position of power are capable of racism, according to them.

    Yeah, well there have been a number, probably not comparable to the suffering of minorities, but more than a few, of white people in the wrong place at the wrong time that took a beating or worse for simply being white in that place and time. Seems to me that whoever gets abused out of racial hatred, whether minority or majority, let alone if someone happens to be one at one scale of geography and the other at a different scale, is on the receiving end of racism.

    Although revenge is not legitimate or lawful, it’d be understandable if it was against a specific person for whom specific heinous deeds were alleged – but that should be dealt with in criminal or civil courts. But neither oppression nor revenge against categories of persons is sensible, regardless of whose ancestors were most recently victims or victimizers. It does seem to be common enough though; and sadly, activists who claim to seek some version of justice are often among those who make excuses for it.

    I find a certain humorous irony in a leftist getting a dose of their own medicine. Still, if the actual incident wasn’t really anything wrong, there are doubtless enough real wrongs to go after instead; and every unjustified claim of wrongdoing detracts from legitimate claims and makes it easier to wonder how many such issues are anything more than a product of point-of-view.

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