I fully expect I’m going to get a bunch of pushback on this one. I welcome discussion about this.
Virginia Governor Ralph Northam is being pressured into resigning because of a photo from his 1984 yearbook, showing two people, one in blackface and one wearing a KKK costume, both holding beers.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that he didn’t make a mistake. But people make stupid mistakes all the time. You make amends, apologize, and move on.
I don’t know if that photo was taken at a Hallowe’en party, but it is actually somewhat funny having a black person and a KKK person drinking a beer together. I haven’t seen any evidence that it was intended to be racist.
Wearing blackface was not always considered racist. Al Jolson, probably the most famous person to wear blackface, worked hard his whole life to improve race relations and was considered a hero by most blacks.
Again, I’m not defending what he did. I just don’t see it as anything more than a small stupid mistake made a long time ago. And it is one more example of the left exercising the dubious right to be offended.
Of course, the GOP doesn’t know when to shut up and let the Dems sling mud at each other. Indeed, on Twitter Saturday an outraged Donald Trump Jr. claimed that the Republicans would never be able to get away with a racist scandal like this. In response, Twitter gleefully reminded him of all the racist scandals they have been able to get away with:
Twitter followers reminded him that his dad called black nations “shithole countries,” hailed Charlottesville protesters, including neo Nazis, as “very fine people,” and long pushed the “birther” lie that the nation’s only black president was born in Africa. Meanwhile, white nationalist GOP Iowa Rep. Steve King is serving his 16th year in Congress. (One Twitter response included a photo of President Donald Trump’s oldest son happily posing with King.)