Earlier this year, when an old medical school yearbook photo surfaced of Gov. Ralph Northam (D-VA) wearing either blackface or a KKK hood, state and national Democrats called for him to resign. Even The Washington Post’s editorial page suggested Northam should resign after he admitted to wearing blackface on at least one other occasion.
But Northam is a Democrat, so all he had to do to curry favor with his party and their media supporters was to buckle down and implement progressive policies. Now, Washington Post columnist Karen Tumulty says it was “wrong” to suggest Northam should have resigned.
“Back when a racist photo first surfaced in his medical school yearbook, most Va lawmakers, our editorial page (and yours truly) said @GovernorVA should resign. We were wrong,” Tumulty tweeted Saturday morning.
Back when a racist photo first surfaced in his medical school yearbook, most Va lawmakers, our editorial page (and yours truly) said @GovernorVA should resign. We were wrong. https://t.co/bA25YpnWbk
— Karen Tumulty (@ktumulty) December 28, 2019
The Post’s editorial board also penned an article about how Northam “came back from the political dead.” The Post claimed Northam did this by refocusing “his governorship on racial equity and reconciliation in what amounted to an extended act of public contrition and atonement.”
A couple paragraphs later, the Post admits the real reason Northam was allowed to stay in office: “It helped Mr. Northam that his potential Democratic successors were quickly enmeshed in their own scandals, which shifted the spotlight and forced his party to consider whether it would prefer a Republican governor. (It wouldn’t.)”
Yes, nothing Northam has done has actually improved his image, it’s just that the Democratic Party would rather a blackface-donning, infanticide-supporting Democrat be in power than a Republican.
As for the policies that Northam committed to after he was caught, the Post listed a series of essentially cosmetic changes that sound good enough for supporters to claim that Northam is actually making things better for minorities and low-income Virginians:
Most potent, it helped that he set himself an agenda on racial equity and pursued it single-mindedly. Scarcely a week or month has passed without Mr. Northam visiting a racially significant site, seeking out counsel from black leaders or announcing an initiative to advance racial justice. He hired Virginia’s, and possibly the nation’s, first state director of diversity, equity and inclusion. He established a commission to comb state law for racist language and provisions, much of it left over from the Jim Crow era. He ordered measures to expand access to state contracts for women- and minority-owned firms, to which less than 3 percent of state contracts were awarded a decade ago. He set up a commission to recommend reforms in the way black history is taught in Virginia’s public schools.
Northam’s visits were clearly staged for optics and nothing else. Everything else he did is no different than a business or university hiring a slew of “diversity” administrators in response to accusations of racism. Nothing actually changes, but the press releases look good.
Oh, but lest you think this is all Northam has done, the Post reminded readers that Northam has also “expressed remorse and projected what many Virginians regard as genuine humility.” The Post gives one example of this, from August, when Northam said he “had to confront some painful truths” including his “own incomplete understanding involving race and equity.”
As the Post noted, that got Northam a standing ovation.
There is absolutely no way the Post would write something like this if it had been a Republican governor discovered in blackface, even if that Republican did all the same pointless exercises as Northam.