In an exclusive interview with CBC Radio, Omar Aziz, a former adviser in the Liberal government, said he wasn’t surprised by Justin Trudeau being found in blackface makeup.
According to Aziz, such racial insensitivity is quite usual in the upper ranks of the Trudeau government, and says he became used to such behaviour while working on Parliament Hill with Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland’s policy team, reports CBC.
“Sometimes a slip of the tongue is not just a slip of the tongue. It’s a slip of the mask,” he said in an interview with CBC Radio.
“I basically had to leave my dream job because of racist prejudices that went unacknowledged.”
Aziz went on to say that the Liberal government views certain minority groups as “ethnic vote banks” and that most of his colleagues were subtly racist.
According to Aziz, part of his job, which Aziz only held for 7 months before leaving due to such comments, was to handle “brown files” in the department, which are how the government colloquially refers to non-white-majority countries. He also says his colleagues assumed that he “wasn’t aware of certain cultural nuances because of his skin colour,” reports CBC.
“People in power above me were blind to what I was seeing,” Aziz says.
“I felt like (…) I was a character from the movie Get Out, where my reality was kind of warped and distorted. Obviously, people are never racist to your face.”
He also said, “The India trip was brownface without the makeup,” adding that it was astounding that people managed to overlook or otherwise miss Trudeau’s multiple blackface photographs.
He finished by saying that he’d like to more diversity at the top of government if they are reelected, as, while Trudeau’s cabinet talks a big game on diversity, most are blind to the homogeneity in their inner circles.