Liberal MP for Humber River-Black Creek Judy Sgro appeared on Toronto radio show Great Benin Kingdom media, more commonly known as GBKM FM yesterday.
The channel describes itself as a station that promotes “the rich culture of Africa as a whole from its History, Culture, Lifestyle, Entertainment and Music.”
Just yesterday, Sgro appeared on the Ordinary People show, hosted by Jacqueline Dixon.
During the interview, Dixon asked Sgro about her representation of communities with large numbers of visible minorities, asking Sgro to speak to “the sentiment” that she has been hearing while door-knocking and campaigning amidst Trudeau’s blackface scandal that broke a few weeks ago.
“First off, something that was done 20 years ago, to begin with… All of us were young at one time, and all of us sometimes made poor choices, and did things that may not be appropriate in today’s world,” said Sgro.
But it was Sgro’s next comments that appeared to frazzle even Dixon.
“Let me tell you that, knocking on doors and being in the plazas and talking to people to make sure that I’m as sensitive as I need to be if I miss something,” prefaced Sgro. “Those in the black community have told of how much more love they have for the prime minister. That he wanted to have a blackface. That he took great pride in that, too. And that it’s the media that has blown this into something that it shouldn’t be.”
Different polls have suggested a variety of reactions from the blackface scandal.
In British Columbia, 52% of voters polled by Insights West said that the Trudeau blackface scandal was a “serious issue”.
A survey by Abacus Data during the blackface fallout found that 42% of those polled said they “weren’t really bothered” by the incident, with another 32% saying they didn’t like it, but accepted his apology and could get over it.
That same poll found that not even 25% of Canadians were “truly offended” by the PM’s actions, with two-thirds being Conservative voters.
Of course, there is no way to definitely measure whether black communities show “much more love” for the prime minister.
But, what this poll might show is that some visible minorities did, in fact, have a negative reaction to the blackface. “Among voters identifying as visible minorities, this bloc was nine points more likely than non-visible minorities and older people to be bothered by the scandal.”
The same can be said about voters under 30, who also had the nine-point differential.
Yesterday a clip of a Facebook Watch show called “New Mom, Who Dis?” was released showing Trudeau being asked by two young girls why he painted his face brown.
On Monday, Trudeau dodged a question asking if he had apologized to African and Middle Eastern leaders for his past multiple use of blackface.
UPDATE: New Democrat Leader Jagmeet Singh told media at a CUPE Members national convention that MP Sgro’s comments regarding Trudeau wearing blackface are “ludicrous and shameful.”
“That shows a massive disconnect between the Liberal Party, and in fact Mr. Trudeau, in what real people are living and experiencing,” said Singh, who had previously delivered a sincere statement regarding the controversy.