Justin Trudeau kneels with protesters during an anti-racism rally in Ottawa – but social media users were quick to remind him of his blackface photos
- Justin Trudeau took a knee while attending a protest at Parliament Hill in Ottawa
- The prime minister made a surprise appearance at the rally on Friday afternoon
- After making the gesture, social media was quick to bring up his use of blackface which emerged in photos last year
- During the rally, a heckler was heard shouting ‘go home blackface’ as he entered
- Protesters also chanted ‘stand up to Trump’ after Trudeau’s awkward response to the president’s tactics
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau attended an anti-racism protest on Friday where he took a public knee in solidarity with demonstrators – but not without being reminded of his blackface photos.
Trudeau, 48, wearing a black mask and surrounded by bodyguards, made a surprise appearance on Parliament Hill in Ottawa where he made the gesture used to protest against police brutality and the treatment of black people by police.
While some thanked him for his support, many on social media were quick to point out his history of wearing blackface which emerged in several photos last year.
Justin Trudeau took a public knee in solidarity with demonstrators during an anti-racism rally in Ottawa on Friday
Trudeau made a surprise appearance at the protest on Parliament Hill, where some were heard chanting, ‘Stand up to Trump’
After making the gesture, social media users were quick to bring up Trudeau’s use of blackface which emerged in photos last year
During the rally, one protester was heard heckling Trudeau, shouting, ‘Go home blackface,’ as he marched in.
Meanwhile on Twitter, many scoffed at his kneeling, with one person calling it ‘just another photo op.’
‘Trudeau couldn’t get away with going to this event in blackface so he went with a black mask instead,’ one person tweeted.
Another critic said the gesture was ‘as effective as wearing blackface to end racism…which he has also done.’
Trudeau came under fire last September after three photos emerged of him wearing blackface, including one of him in costume during a 2001 Arabian Nights party when he was a teacher.
He later issued a public apology calling the incidents ‘something that I deeply, deeply regret.’
Many took to Twitter to comment on Trudeau’s kneeling gesture after he was revealed to have worn blackface in the past
During the protest, demonstrators were also heard chanting, ‘stand up to Trump!’ in reference to Trudeau’s awkward response after he was asked to comment on the president’s idea of using soldiers against protesters.
The Liberal prime minister paused for more than 20 seconds before answering that Canadians were watching the United States with ‘horror and consternation.’
Earlier during his daily press conference, Trudeau acknowledged ‘the systemic discrimination that has existed for far too long in our country.’
‘I look forward to continuing to see thousands of Canadians protesting peacefully right across the country,’ he said.
Trudeau did not speak at the rally, but listened to the speeches, after which the protesters began a march to the U.S. Embassy and the prime minister returned to his office.
Protesters raise their fists at an anti-racism demonstration, in Toronto on Friday, June 5