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It’s not just a 'brownface' photo. The whole election is about race.

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau is photographed in brownface at an "Arabian Nights" party at West Point Grey Academy in 2001. (Source: West Point Grey Academy)

In today’s Big Story podcast, the Prime Minister has apologized for his past racism. His main opponent has called him unfit to lead, but has refused to turf his own candidates over their past racism. The leader of the party in third place is the first visible minority to lead one of Canada’s major federal parties. A fringe party boasts a slate of candidates with anti-immigrant views. And hate crimes have spiked across the country over the past two years.

So yes, we can absolutely reckon with the fact that photos of the Prime Minister in racist makeup have been uncovered, but we also need to reckon with the larger issue of systemic racism in Canada and in Canadian politics in particular. Can the first reckoning lead to the second? Or will we spend the next month pointing fingers?

GUEST: Fatima Syed, National Observer

You can subscribe to The Big Story podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google and Spotify.

You can also find it at thebigstorypodcast.ca.