Big News of the day….Virginia Governor, Ralph Northam admitted that in 1984, he was in a yearbook picture wearing blackface or a KKK outfit. However, now the governor has claimed later in a news conference that it was not him in the photograph, wearing a costume “that is clearly racist and offensive.”
“This behavior is not in keeping with who I am today
and the values I have fought for throughout my career in the military, in
medicine, and in public service. But I want to be clear, I understand how this
decision shakes Virginians’ faith in that commitment,” he said.
Politicians and all types of folk are
shouting that he should resign, from Kamala Harris and Cory Booker to every
republican within earshot, and many TV
My opinion at this juncture is, I don’t
know. I do think the new conference did him little good.
The bigger question is, (and I have had some vehement debates on this)…If there is an untoward incident in one’s early life, does that event, though lawful but distasteful to the general public, make that person ineligible to serve in government or do public good? In other words, if a person has a formidable record as a, say, politician in public office, should that person resign when something distasteful is discovered in his/ her past? Black folks didn’t yell when Clinton committed a “sexual no-no” in the Oval office or “didn’t inhale” ….. or though Presidents Bush and Obama admitted to “testing some pot” were they disqualified from running for the presidency?
In the case of Ralph Northam, the governor of Virginia, I am willing to wait until his life after the “error in judgement” is examined and then render a judgement. For, I believe that one’s total life should be taken into account when there is no criminal activity later in life.
Can I add some context to this particular situation? Even in 1984, many a young white person in Virginia will have been trained to ignore the sensitivity of racist actions, I am thinking… Even though thirty years had passed since Brown v Board of Education 1954 decision white Virginians for the most part gave short shrift to the advances in race relations since then….. They should have, but they didn’t. Just like they’ve been taught to be racist, there must be a time, a moment when they are taught to be otherwise. Perhaps Northam is one of those who “got the message”.
If they are at a point where they are
now exhibiting non racist tendencies, I say, look at their total life, be fair…
In my opinion the public was not fair
to Sen. Franken…
It is too easy for folks to jump on
the bandwagon, especially those who may have something in their past that might
reflect poorly on their careers… so deflect, they yell for maximum punishment
hoping that that call will quell the clamor from looking at all in search of
Black folks especially should be
tolerant regarding immediate condemnation and ultimate penalties…
Look at your fake president and all
he has said about minorities …. Are you hollering that he must resign? How about “dwarfsessions” and his penchant
for destroying civil rights advances?
Did you call for his resignation??? And in the aforementioned cases the crap
these two have done is right in your face, not thirty five years ago!!! Which
Isn’t America the place for second chances??? Should something done early in life, (no legal crime) be the basis of ruining someone’s life?? Especially when they have done good work demonstrating a commitment to equality?? Yes, allegedly, he was 25 years old when the prank was done.. But what about the years since, when he was a pediatrician or served in our Armed Forces?
Don’t take me wrong, I do not condone this deed, nor do I overlook it.. all I am saying is, look at the totality of one’s life and give credit for it. It seems that the last thirty five years of Northam’s life are erased and only this despicable incident, alleged, as it is….. is most important.
It is not fair to judge an individual
on the basis of one act, and not a pattern when that person apologizes takes
ownership and promises to make amends… It wasn’t murder, sexual assault, robbery with
a weapon, etc.. so should the penalty be total extinction??? I do not think so…
What’s your take??? Let me know….
Enough said. I’m out!!!