Rick wrote: This is really an amazing story that doesn't have anything to do with President Trump, so predictably, the media arm of the DNC (most of the media) isn't giving the Virginia story as much (if any) attention as they would if this was a Republican problem...
Let’s be clear. The deafening chorus of Democrats and Republicans calling for Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam to step down over that blackface picture has little to do with African-Americans.
It’s about politics.
If there ever was a case that pointed out both parties’ shallow interest in pushing forward an agenda addressing racial equality, it is this made-up angst over a picture that appeared 35 years ago in a medical school yearbook in Virginia.
Northam says he didn’t realize the harm he’d done by dancing in blackface until he had a conversation about it later with a person of color.
“He let me know why this was offensive,” Northam said at a news conference Saturday. “I apologized to him, and I will never do it again.”
This is what a conversation on race looks like. Someone does something racially insensitive. He discusses it with someone he has hurt and he comes away understanding why this seemingly innocent act is so painful to others.
These are the kinds of interpersonal discussions that can move our nation forward, not the angry, hate-filled rhetoric Trump has encouraged Americans to spew onto each other.
If we're going to hold Northam to account for his actions 30 years ago of dressing in blackface, then we also need to acknowledge that racism is still alive and well in the United States and the NFL players kneeling have a damn good reason to do so. That calls to end Affirmative Action are premature, we have a disproportionate percentage of black people in poverty and in jails not because they are lazy or more likely to be criminals but because they are discriminated against for good job opportunities or promotions/raises and singled out for scrutiny and less able to defend themselves against spurious charges.
After much fun at Northam's expense, a serious though: A few tweets have run along the lines of, "Even in the South, 35 years ago, everyone knew that wearing a Klan outfit or blackface was racist." Having been in college myself at that time, I started nodding. 1/x
But then I pause. EVERYONE knew that this type of behavior is racist? That means Northam must have been racist (he admits in his Friday statement that what he did was racist). It means his partner in crime was racist. But there was a compiler/editor of the yearbook, right? 2/x
That supposedly responsible person accepted Northam's photo. -- and let it go, right? Was there a faculty advisor? Did that person approve it too? My point here is that either everyone knew this was something REALLY ugly and racist OR they were doing something what they 3/
bizarrely thought was "funny" and no one stopped to think, "Oh, it's funny, but really ugly and maybe we shouldn't do it." IOW, the 20/20 hindsight we have now that EVERYONE knew this was something you didn't do might not have been as strong back then. 4/