By Arlen Grossman
It appears I must be the only progressive Democrat around who thinks Governor Ralph Northam deserves to stay in office. It appears most Democrats are leaping over each other to pile onto Governor Northam and demand that he resign.
The amount of hysterical reaction seems to me to be way over the top. There was a racist photo on his yearbook page that he claims he doesn’t know about and is not a part of. Who can say otherwise and be sure? The photograph was on his page in his medical school yearbook 35 years ago, and his career record on race has been good. He hasn’t lynched anyone or called anyone the n-word.
One questionable photo which he denies knowledge of should not the the basis or ruining a man’s life and career. Hang in there, Governor, and don’t be a victim of knee-jerk PC like Al Franken was.
Unless I see clear evidence of racist feelings and action from Governor Northam, I hope he gets the benefit of the doubt and remains in the office he was elected to.
Northam at first admitted that he was in the photo and apologized for it. It was only after the calls for his resignation that he developed amnesia and stated that he was not in the photo the very next day. He also stated that he did indeed, wear ‘Black face’ when he attended a party and got himself up to resemble Michael Jackson and actually performed Michael Jackson’s infamous “moonwalk.” So, yes, Northam is as racist as the day is long and well into the night. But you neglect to mention what he still admits to. Once a racist, always a racist, and so no, he should not resign because what will take his place will just be more of the same.
I think you are being overly tough on the governor, Shelby. These incidents are about 35 years old and not that serious. His life since has been exemplary and not at all racist. In addition, most of the black residents of Virginia are okay with him staying on.
I don’t know where you get that most of the Black residents of Virginia “are okay with him staying on” since polls are notoriously biased given who is usually polled and who is doing the polling. Thirty-five years ago is nothing seeing as how what went down thirty-five years ago is still going down today. The Klan is still marching through the streets. The Supreme Court invalidated a key part of the Voting Rights Act and Jim Crow has merely merged into gentrification, a school-to-prison pipeline, whites calling the cops on Black people for selling bottled water, barbequing, taking pictures of houses they intend to buy, sitting in a Starbucks, napping in a common area of a college dorm they are paying tuition at and the list is endless. Whites slapping black shoe polish on their face to make fun of Black people IS a big deal, but then seeing as how you are not Black, of course it is no big deal to you. Go figure!
First of all, just because you don’t like the results of a poll doesn’t make it invalid. Secondly, there is no question racism is alive and well and serious, and under Trump, has gotten worse. I just don’t think Governor Northam should be held responsible for all of it. Given his entire life and history, he has an exemplary record on racial and other progressive issues and deserves the benefit of the doubt.
Thanks Arlen. As you know, we disagree. But you make a fair case for Northam.