Justin Trudeau makes 'careless nod to anti-black stereotypes,' says Toronto journalist

Justin Trudeau made a 'careless nod to anti-black stereotypes' Monday night while discussing the topic of violence against women, claims Toronto journalist Desmond Cole, who took to Twitter to discuss the issue.

Desmond Cole says he sees 'subtle racism' in Liberal leader's comments about music and violence against women

Desmond Cole, a Toronto journalist, tweeted that the Liberal leader responses were “a very careless nod to anti-black stereotypes.” (Screen grab CBC News/ Canadian Press /Jonathan Hayward)

Justin Trudeau made a "careless nod to anti-black stereotypes" Monday night while discussing the topic of violence against women, claims Toronto journalist Desmond Cole.

Trudeau made the remarks when asked — during the Up for Debate interview on gender justice and equality that aired Monday night — why women still face violence after making great strides in other domains. 

"I don't know where exactly to point my finger, I think there's probably an awful lot of factors that come together to shape societal behaviours, whether it's certain types of music — there's a lot of misogyny in certain types of music.

"There's issues around pornography and its prevalence now and its accessibility, which is something I'm really wrapping my head around as a father of kids who are approaching their teen years.

"And there's also the shifting parental roles, there's a lot of communities in which fathers are less present than they have been. There's a need to have more, engaged, positive role models."

The comments can be found at the 4:48 in the video.

Cole took exception to Trudeau not being specific about which music or community he was alluding to in his remarks.

​The journalist put together a Storify of his tweets, wherein he writes about Trudeau's "subtle racism."

Below is an excerpt of that Storify. 

In a brief exchange over Twitter with CBC News, Cole added: "Violence against women is an issue that affects all communities in Canada. We have to talk about patriarchy and sexism as Canadian issues, not as problems confined to specific groups."

Trudeau responded to Cole's comments through a spokesperson. 

"There's a lot of communities in which fathers are less present than they have been or might have been in the past."

Trudeau was asked about his remarks in Montreal Tuesday.

Justin Trudeau wants zero tolerance for violence against women

7 years ago
Duration 1:55
Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau responds to questions about him using stereotypes when talking about the sources of violence against women.

"I wasn't speaking of any community in particular," said Trudeau. "I was saying as leaders, as parents, as community leaders, we need to make sure we are combating misogyny in all its forms wherever it's found, whether fashion magazines or popular music or popular culture. We all have to work together."

Some people on Twitter agreed with Cole's assessments.

While other people came to Trudeau's defence.


  • This story has been updated from a previous version to include more of Justin Trudeau's original comments during the Up for Debate interview to present more context.
    Sep 22, 2015 6:21 PM ET


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