When Politicians Are Caught Wearing Blackface

It's not just Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. From Florida to Italy, plenty of elected officials around the world have worn blackface and brownface.

Blackface’s continued use is finally beginning to unfold

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has apologized for wearing brownface to a party in 2001. This isn’t the first time this has happened with an elected official.

Anthony Sabatini, Florida State Representative – a 30-year-old Florida state representative and former city commissioner, also has a damning blackface photo on his record. While a sophomore at Eustis High School, the current Howey-in-the-Hills Republican dressed up as one of his African American friend, complete with blackface, do-rag and gold chains.

Brant Tomlinson, South Carolina County Council candidate - Brant Tomlinson, a Republican at the time running for the Kershaw County District Fives seat, dressed as a member of the Jamaican bobsled team during a 2008 party while a sophomore at the University of South Carolina.

Ralph Northam, Governor of Virginia 1984 medical school yearbook - Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) acknowledged appearing in a “clearly racist and offensive” photograph in his 1984 medical school yearbook that shows a man in blackface and another in a Ku Klux Klan robe.

Kay Ivey, Governor of Alabama - Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey issued an apology for participating in a blackface sketch during her time as a student at Auburn University, six months after a yearbook photo of her sorority sisters putting on a similar skit resurfaced.

Gianluca Buonanno, Italian Representative - Extreme right-wing politician Gianluca Buonanno produced a makeup kit in Parliament and started to dab his face in order to make it darker, in protest of immigrants in Italy receiving state benefits.

Tommy Norment, Virginia State Senator - Another Virginia politician — state Sen. Tommy Norment, the Republican majority leader — was swept up in the growing blackface scandal after it was revealed that he was one of the editors of a 1968 Virginia Military Institute yearbook that featured racist language and students in blackface.