Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Monday, February 04, 2019

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam remained in power Monday but is having a difficult time finding allies, begging his Cabinet members to give him the chance to prove he was not the person pictured in a racist photo that surfaced Friday. Northam oversaw a regularly scheduled Cabinet meeting Monday morning that a source inside the meeting described as "solemn."

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I think it's a little too late for that, this guy really needs to go.

#1 | Posted by leftcoastlawyer at 2019-02-04 06:46 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

Party of personal responsibility shrugs.

#2 | Posted by oldwhiskeysour at 2019-02-04 07:21 PM | Reply

Any word yet on racist policies he supported, or is his racism only in his physical appearance?

#3 | Posted by snoofy at 2019-02-04 07:32 PM | Reply

He should resign and then open a practice in the inner city and treat black people for free.
"Free abortions! Free childcare. Literally drop your kid here and go, no returns!"

#4 | Posted by 101Chairborne at 2019-02-04 07:33 PM | Reply

ICE already offers those services, all you have to do is say you're a refugee.

Admittedly, they might not be offering them in Newport News.

#5 | Posted by snoofy at 2019-02-04 07:35 PM | Reply

Don't democrats get a mulligan?

#6 | Posted by bored at 2019-02-04 07:56 PM | Reply | Funny: 3

"According to that source, the governor specifically said that if he resigns, he would be resigning as a "racist for life," and that the only way he can clear his name is to stay in office and convince people that he is not in that photo and that the photo does not represent who he is."

Doesn't this kind of sound like OJ claiming that he needed to stay out of jail so that he could clear his name by finding Nicole's killer?

#7 | Posted by Rightocenter at 2019-02-04 11:15 PM | Reply

OJ was only at risk of going to jail because they moved the OJ trial to Brentwood in the first place.

#8 | Posted by snoofy at 2019-02-04 11:28 PM | Reply

there doesn't seem to be a record of this guy being a bigot. quite the contrary, he's received a lot of favorable comments from people of both racial persuisions. I would find it hard to believe you could find a white guy at that time and place, who wouldn't get caught up in BS like this at the frat house. I've told my share of jokes and did some incredibly inappropriate things. as of right now it looks like he won't resign.
I can't believe he didn't claim to be in his Abe Lincoln costume taking the pic

#9 | Posted by 1947steamer at 2019-02-05 02:29 AM | Reply

The Governor should go do his job and prove through his actions what is truly in his heart. I just laugh at those who support voter suppression and then call someone else a racist. I'm tired of the court of public opinion, he was elected to do a job and he should just stay and do it.

#10 | Posted by danni at 2019-02-05 06:26 AM | Reply | Funny: 1 | Newsworthy 1

He needs to resign now so that Sexual Assault Guy can take over and wow us some more.

#11 | Posted by Spork at 2019-02-05 06:41 AM | Reply

#10 Danni,

I agree with you. The problem is your party has gone so overboard using identity politics as a cudgel that doing something stupid 25 years ago - something that didn't hurt anyone and wasn't illegal or unethical - is enough to ruin a career. It used to only work one way. There used to be a liberal/progressive exemption back when it was understood that rabid identity politics was merely a weapon to be used against conservatives. Because of its success as a weapon it has to be used broadly in order to keep it alive. This means the left will eat its own - gotta break a few eggs to make an omelette and all that.

#12 | Posted by JeffJ at 2019-02-05 08:15 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

something that didn't hurt anyone

How do you know that?

You don't.

#13 | Posted by JOE at 2019-02-05 08:22 AM | Reply

I would find it hard to believe you could find a white guy at that time and place, who wouldn't get caught up in BS like this at the frat house.

Stop portraying the 1980s as a time where it was normal to put on blackfacw and dress in klan robes. It wasn't.

#14 | Posted by JOE at 2019-02-05 08:25 AM | Reply

something that didn't hurt anyone
----
How do you know that?
You don't.

#13 | POSTED BY JOE

How do you know it did hurt someone?

Fact is, simply wearing a costume to a party is not an aggressive act. The theme of the party might have been to parody racism (think: Blazing Saddles).

#15 | Posted by JeffJ at 2019-02-05 08:30 AM | Reply

How do you know it did hurt someone?

I'm not the one who made a declarative statement one way or the other, genius.

#16 | Posted by JOE at 2019-02-05 09:52 AM | Reply

"The theme of the party might have been to parody racism (think: Blazing Saddles)."

Your speculation reeks of desperation to explain away blackface and Klan robes.

#17 | Posted by Hagbard_Celine at 2019-02-05 09:57 AM | Reply

Yep. If "parodying racism" was really "the theme of the party," Northam would have said so by now. Why is Jeff inventing excuses the accused hasn't even bothered to use?

#18 | Posted by JOE at 2019-02-05 10:04 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Joe,

Outside of this photograph has this guy ever been known to be a racist?

I've neither heard or read anything alleging this. What other racially insensitive (or racist) acts is he guilty of in his adult life?

How is it Robert Byrd can be a Grand Wizard of the KKK, repent and completely change his views on blacks and become a lifelong member of congress and this guy needs to go over wearing a stupid costume 35 years ago?

Byrd was forgiven for way, WAY worse yet this guy needs to be thrown to the wolves?

It makes no sense. This is mob justice.

#19 | Posted by JeffJ at 2019-02-05 10:13 AM | Reply

I want to be clear - I don't even like this guy and I'm getting a perverse sense of joy watching the left cannibalize one of its own.

#20 | Posted by JeffJ at 2019-02-05 10:14 AM | Reply

So i guess this long-winded goalpost upheaval means you can't defend your claim that he "didn't hurt anyone," which was the only thing i responded to in this thread?

#21 | Posted by JOE at 2019-02-05 10:18 AM | Reply

I changed gears. Deliberately. Whether or not his costume "hurt" anyone is speculative. I seriously doubt it, especially in the '80's when people weren't wound so fricking tight and were capable of forgiving a repentant former Klansmen. But, like you said, we don't know 100% for sure.

#22 | Posted by JeffJ at 2019-02-05 10:22 AM | Reply

#20 | Posted by JeffJ

At least "the left" will do something about someone on the left who grossly or not so grossly acts in a way against the greater good. What's the right doing about King again?

#23 | Posted by GalaxiePete at 2019-02-05 10:43 AM | Reply

I am NOT going to defend the photo. Black face with Clan is wrong in every sense of the image period. It crosses a LOT of lines.

Even back in my college years I knew right from wrong and I am a few years younger then him. You'd never have found me around anyone in a hood for any reason even a costume party and I was solidly Right at that time but at the same time I was never a racist which seems like irony of ironies any more. However I *MIGHT* have considered a black face costume. Nobody seen it as racist then - at least I don't remember anyone in my circles seeing it that way but I am white and most of my circles were white. It didn't really become a big deal offense until Social Media.

NOW knowing the actual history I can see why it is considered in poor taste to say the least BUT I think people are over reacting to any use of it. If it is done in the right way for the right reasons - I STILL don't have a problem with it. Say you want to be Wesley Snipes or Beyonce or whoever that is a black figure for a costume party and you are white - how do you do that? Of course people will say pick someone else... Screw that. Time to lose some of the ignorant outrage there is too much of today.

#24 | Posted by GalaxiePete at 2019-02-05 10:52 AM | Reply

If Northam isn't in the blackface and KKK photo and is just "guilty" of performing in blackface in a Michael Jackson dance contest, then his actions weren't the outliers in American culture back then that some are pretending they were. Take, for instance, the 1986 movie "Soul Man":

"To achieve his dream of attending Harvard, a pampered [white] teen poses as a young black man to receive a full scholarship."

www.imdb.com

In the movie the teen in question was said to have used "lots of bronzing pills" to darken his skin, so maybe we should call the makeup work bronzeface instead of blackface. BTW, the film was billed as a comedy and a romance.

I make a distinction between egregiousness of the blackface man with KKK man costumes and the Michael Jackson blackface costume for a dance contest in the 1980's. Both are unacceptable now and should have been then as well, but as the Soul Man movie demonstrates this wasn't the case.

#25 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2019-02-05 10:53 AM | Reply

Pete,

I didn't realize that wearing a racially insensitive/racist costume to a party held 35 years ago was acting against the greater good.

#26 | Posted by JeffJ at 2019-02-05 10:53 AM | Reply

#25 NW, Gal. Soul Man is a great symbol to introduce to this discussion and it's a product of the time in which this guy wore a costume.

I would like to add Exhibit B: The marketing of Soul Glo in the movie Coming to America.

#27 | Posted by JeffJ at 2019-02-05 10:56 AM | Reply

"It didn't really become a big deal offense until Social Media."

It was always a big deal offense; black face was always, from its beginnings, used as a means to ridicule, demean, mock, and dehumanize black people. White people could just pretend like it wasn't or that it didn't happen until social media.

#28 | Posted by Hagbard_Celine at 2019-02-05 10:57 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

I didn't realize that wearing a racially insensitive/racist costume to a party held 35 years ago was acting against the greater good.

#26 | Posted by JeffJ

Anything that "normalizes" the clan and what they stand for is wrong. Anything Clan - Even back then was just BAD news. I knew the clan was just wrong even as a kid growing up in the sticks. Anyone with an once of decency or common sense wouldn't be a part of it. So ya it is against the greater good.

#29 | Posted by GalaxiePete at 2019-02-05 11:05 AM | Reply

"It was always a big deal offense; black face was always, from its beginnings, used as a means to ridicule, demean, mock, and dehumanize black people. White people could just pretend like it wasn't or that it didn't happen until social media."

Setting aside the Northam case which is undercut by the racist photo on his yearbook page, I don't think someone appearing in blackface for a Michael Jackson dance contest in the 80s would necessarily mean that person was a racist out "to ridicule, demean, mock, and dehumanize black people." I understand that black people would have interpreted it that way, but I also think that the dancer's intention may have been imitation rather than racism. Kind of like someone going to a Madonna dance contest wearing a dirty blonde wig, a bustier and lots of pearl necklaces and bracelets.

#30 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2019-02-05 11:20 AM | Reply

#27 Jeff, I had to look up the year: "Coming to America (1988) - IMDb". Yes, also a good example from the time period.

#31 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2019-02-05 11:26 AM | Reply

Every year in February my private high school (they do it to this day - it starts this Friday) would have 7 straight days of half days. This is their big annul fundraiser - a raffle ticket drive. During those 7 days no tests or homework could be assigned. This was to give the students plenty of opportunity to sell tickets. At the end of each school day during raffle ticket drive we had an assembly. My freshman year each class was assigned a music genre (Rock, rap, etc) and each class got to put together 3 or 4 groups of students who would go up and lip synch to piped in music. After the performances each group would stand in front of the assembled students and based upon how loud the clapping and cheering was one group would advance to the final round where the best "band" from each class would compete with the other classes. Well, the Junior class was assigned soul music (which has a lot of Detroit roots) and one of the groups was The Temptations. Well, they went out there in black face and lip synched and performed as if they were actually on stage, replete with fake instruments and everything. There was no mockery. They were simply trying to look like The Temptations.

Note: The Senior class was given rock and roll and they won the whole thing. The winning band was AC/DC.

#32 | Posted by JeffJ at 2019-02-05 11:38 AM | Reply

Jeff sticking up for a racist Democrat wearing a klan costume is a truly heartwarming tale of bipartisanship.

#33 | Posted by JOE at 2019-02-05 11:41 AM | Reply | Funny: 1

I can't wait until this country finally moves on from this 21st liberal definition of racism. Blackface and KKK outfits are not racist, they are offensive. Racism is when a KKK member goes and shoots a black guy because he doesn't like his skin. Racism is when a Manager won't hire someone because of their skin color. Racism is an action against a person of a different race; racism is not being offensive towards another race. No matter where you go in the world, people are offensive to other people. Every race does it to every other race. Sure, it would great if people weren't offensive but that's not the argument here. This guy was offensive to people because he had blackface next to a KKK costume. Big deal. In fact, KKK members can have all the meetings they want every single day. It's not until they actually do something against someone because of their race that it becomes racist. This country would be in a lot better position if people understood this difference.

#34 | Posted by humtake at 2019-02-05 12:57 PM | Reply

This is a good discussion to be having now, in light of MeToo, Black Lives Matter, Covington Catholic and many other issues in the news.

Whether you call me a fence-sitter or simply someone who believes in nuance, I find the culture of instantaneous mass adjudication of every person or event that comes along a dangerous and unhealthy trend. Humans are complex beings and, a few notable exceptions aside, are rarely 100% bad or 100% good. If I'm being honest with myself, I don't always follow my own moral code on judging people at the drop of a hat, as anyone reading my posts here will attest. (See? Complex!)

Political and social realities aside, I would assert that people should be judged on the totality of their being, not on a single lapse in judgment at a party. If Northam has grown to become a friend in the battle against oppression, that is an important factor in my view of him.

I have made my share of bad decisions, and would probably be trashed if I ran for office, but I like to think my contributions to the world have outweighed my missteps. If you took a poll of everyone I've ever known, asking about my integrity and dedication to equality and justice, I'm confident the results would be mostly positive.

Jeff makes a good point about Robert Byrd. He did far worse things than Northam did, but he changed his ways and he was largely forgiven. Even the king of racism, George Wallace, atoned, albeit imperfectly, for his appalling separatist actions as he got older. I gained a little respect for him as a result. Similarly, rapper Chuck D of the almighty Public Enemy -- a group that supported black nationalism and called white people the enemy -- has long since softened his rigid stance.

Each of us is flawed and prone to errors in both thought and deed. What matters most is what we do next. As Ocar Wilde wrote, and Chrissie Hynde later sang, we are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.

#35 | Posted by cbob at 2019-02-05 01:51 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

Any word yet if there are any racist policies Northam supports?

#36 | Posted by snoofy at 2019-02-05 01:55 PM | Reply

I've not heard of any, Snoofy.

#37 | Posted by cbob at 2019-02-05 01:58 PM | Reply

Neither have I.

So, where's the racism?

Anyone???

#38 | Posted by snoofy at 2019-02-05 02:01 PM | Reply

Still, it's important not to make the discussion all about Northam or his fear of being labeled. The fact is, America has a racist foundation, and we must all recognize this and act to cut its deep tentacles, which continue to affect our country today.

Here's an analysis worth your time: www.nbcnews.com

#39 | Posted by cbob at 2019-02-05 02:08 PM | Reply

"Whether you call me a fence-sitter or simply someone who believes in nuance, I find the culture of instantaneous mass adjudication of every person or event that comes along a dangerous and unhealthy trend."

Amen, brother. I read a comment elsewhere the other day that proudly proclaimed Democrats are demonstrating their "zero tolerance" for racism by saying Northam should resign. Setting aside Northam himself, who didn't do himself any favors by his original response to the yearbook photo, I couldn't help but think this zero tolerance approach when it comes to racism, just like the zero tolerance approach when it comes to sexual harassment, has gone too far and is lacking in nuance. I don't understand this desire to paint a wide variety of behaviors with the same broad brush and then to condemn and punish them all equally (usually with what amounts to a political death penalty). I guess this approach has the advantage of saving people from the need to think about and judge on a case by case basis, but how many on the left think that handing down mandatory sentences under a zero tolerance drug policy, for example, is the wisest and most equitable approach to the problem?

#40 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2019-02-05 02:21 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

If everyone who's ever made a mistake or had a difference of opinion is permanently cast aside as a racist, no one will want to participate in the steps necessary to move America forward. But let me be clear: Things like membership in the Klan, support for white supremacy, or a history of discrimination do not qualify as differences of opinion.

#41 | Posted by cbob at 2019-02-05 03:06 PM | Reply

If the deplorable Democrat Creeps can't apologize to Kavanaugh, then they need to resign themselves. How dare some of these actually have the nerve to run for President! Fools!

#42 | Posted by JordyPete at 2019-02-05 05:23 PM | Reply

#42 | POSTED BY JORDYPETE

What kind of incellous lobster would apologize to Bart O'Kegerator for being a serial rapist and belligerent alcoholic?

#43 | Posted by IndianaJones at 2019-02-05 05:54 PM | Reply

Advocate for infanticide and the ---- will hit the fan.

Repent, proabortionists!

#44 | Posted by drivelikejehu at 2019-02-05 10:55 PM | Reply

Dirt digging is as old as politics, but now it has become the litmus test of every pubic figure. Sorry, but show me an individual that has never done anything stupid or in bad taste and I will show you an individual that has never done a thing. A 35 year old photo of two unidentified individuals in a year book? After thousands of hours of research, that is all they found? The guy must be a saint.

#45 | Posted by docnjo at 2019-02-06 07:34 AM | Reply

#44 | Posted by drivelikejehu The problem is allowing any government the power of life without due process.. The first thing Hitler did was to dehumanize the disabled and the different. His first victims were the disabled under his "Life not worth living" campaign. The state should not have that power. This state even has to speak to a committee of citizens to execute one of their own.

#46 | Posted by docnjo at 2019-02-06 11:40 AM | Reply

" The first thing Hitler did was to dehumanize the disabled and the different. His first victims were the disabled ..." - #46 | Posted by docnjo at 2019-02-06 11:40 AM

Trump's Mockery of a Disabled Journalist
You were saying?

#47 | Posted by Hans at 2019-02-06 12:43 PM | Reply

#47 | Posted by Hans That has been disproved, It is more than doubtful that Trump knew that journalist from Adam. Unless he could tell his disabilities from the individual's writing. Trump has used the same gestures when he is confronted with what he considers absurd. The difference is, Hitler killed the disabled, Trump made a face. Of course that is morally equivalent to you.

#48 | Posted by docnjo at 2019-02-06 02:54 PM | Reply

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