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VA Politics FPP Draft

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THREAD TITLE: Perhaps James Baldwin's "What you say about anybody else reveals you." ? "More like C’monwealth of Virginia" Have you tried turning Virginia off and on again?

DESCRIPTION: <a href="">Virginia Politics In Chaos</a>

MORE INSIDE: Last week, a photo from Virginia Governor Ralph Northam's medical school yearbook page was released (<a href="">after a tip</a> that followed Northam's <a href="">abortion comments</a>) showing a person in blackface standing next to a person in a Ku Klux Klan outfit. On Friday, the Governor <a href="">admitted appearing in the photo</a>, only to <a href="">walk that back</a> in a bizarre Saturday press conference during which he admitted to wearing blackface as part of a Michael Jackson costume on a separate occasion and appeared prepared to <a href="">demonstrate the moonwalk</a> before his wife stopped him.

The spotlight quickly swung to Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax, an up-and-coming star of the Virginia Democratic Party who, as only the second African-American elected to statewide office in Virginia history, was perhaps uniquely poised to lead the state in healing. But then Fairfax was <a href="">accused of sexual assault at the Democratic National Convention in 2004</a>, which he has denied (<a href="">possibly to the point of saying "F--- that b----" in a meeting</a>) [<a href="">Lt. Gov. Fairfax's latest statement</a>].

That would leave Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring, next in the order of succession—OH FOR THE LOVE OF GOD WHAT NOW—who today <a href="">says in college he wore blackface</a> when "dressed like rappers... like <a href="">Kurtis Blow</a>" at a party [<a href="">his statement</a>].

Next in the order of succession after him? The Speaker of the House of Delegates, Kirk Cox, a Republican, <a href="">who has the job because of a coin toss</a>.


NYT: <a href="">Northam Scandal Opens Rift Between Top Democrats in Virginia</a>: "Virginia plunged deeper into political turmoil Monday as Gov. Ralph Northam told aides he was not planning to step down, and his own lieutenant governor suggested Mr. Northam’s supporters were behind an effort to smear him with claims of sexual assault to block his ascent if the governor resigned."

AP: <a href="">Northam blackface scandal: Yearbook staff disagree on whether photo was a mix-up</a>: "The image was one of at least three blackface photos in the 1984 yearbook."

AP: <A href="">Blackface photo reopens long history of bigotry in medicine</a>. “And not just him, all of the medical professionals connected to the school, to the yearbook ... basically, your slip is showing. If you felt that black people were equal to white people in any way, shape or form, you would not think that this was OK.”

Virginian-Pilot: <a href-"">EVMS banned yearbooks in 2013 after students posed in Confederate garb</a>. Three men are pictured in the 2013 yearbook wearing Civil War-era uniforms and standing in front of Confederate flags.

Jamelle Bouie: <a href="">Blackface Is the Tip of the Iceberg</a>: "Put these examples together and you can begin to discern a standard: In American politics, lawmakers can get a pass for almost anything short of open allegiance to racist ideologies or the explicit use of racist imagery."

Adam Serwer: <a href="">There’s More at Stake Than Ralph Northam’s Career</a>: "If Northam remains governor, he gives license to any number of future scoundrels to remain in office despite engaging in bigotry against their constituents."

Michael Harriot: <a href="">Why White People Love Blackface, Explained</a>

Jamil Smith: <a href="">Blackface Is Just One Part of the Problem</a> The furor over Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam’s yearbook photo has America once again asking the wrong questions about racism.