September 19-23, 2019


This Can’t Be Happening


“There is no context in which someone doesn’t have responsibility for things they’ve done in the past.” Justin Trudeau, to the CBC, January 2018


today the media is in an uproar

for, against, it’s just gone crazy

over some old photo of some old party

where our illustrious leader goofed

or may have goofed, or didn’t goof

or was merely a just bit too young

it depends

but he’s apologizing for it anyhow

which is good, as far as it goes

I guess

but I don’t think he needed to

(not for that, anyway)

in the context of the masquerade

he had made no fault to claim

(c’mon people!

can’t we even have fun anymore?)

though theme and enthusiasm

may both have been ill considered


but it’s odd


everyone’s crying “Brown-face!”

“Racist!”, “Insulting!” and

“Culturally inappropriate!”

in a strangely maddened response

to the image splashing everywhere

yet so few have said a single thing

about where his hands are placed

and his apparent moral hypocrisy




For most of my life I've had to consider pretended Christianity, for either gain or ridicule, as a part of living in a world where many don't understand or don’t care that what they do might harm another. I am Christian, white and male and I also experience racism, albeit in a non-racist way. Saying that, what is of greater concern to me than Justin Trudeau’s apparent racism is the seeming lack of concern for: 1) The questionable placement of his hands; and 2) His attempt to evade his own 'no mercy' rule.


This Can't Be Happening!
A poem by Peter Rhebergen

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