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Tipsheet

Dude, Really? After Admitting Wearing Blackface, VA Dem Gov Reads About Slave Reparations, Will Focus On Racial Reconciliation

AP Photo/Steve Helber

What’s happening in Virginia is beyond parody. It’s a total mess. Gov. Ralph Northam, Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, and state Attorney General Mark Herring, all Democrats, are all engulfed in scandal. Fairfax is facing two sexual assault allegations. Herring and Northam have admitted to wearing blackface. This all began last Friday when Northam’s 1984 Eastern Virginia Medical School yearbook page featured a photo with two people in racist costumes. One is wearing blackface while the other is dressed as a Klansman. Northam had apologized to being in the photo, but then retracted it 24 hours later, saying that wasn’t him, but admitted to wearing blackface as part of a dance competition; he dressed as Michael Jackson. Herring called for him to resign, along with virtually the entire Democratic Party. And then, Herring admitted to wearing blackface and dressing like a rapper in college. The entire governing leadership is aflame. The entire Virginia Democratic Party has collapsed within the span of a week. 

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And is Northam leaving? Oh, hell no. He challenged his inner-Jordan Belfort and said he ain’t going nowhere, though even liberal polls show by a two-to-one margin that Virginia voters want him gone (via Associated Press):

Virginia’s state government seemed to come unglued Friday as an embattled Gov. Ralph Northam made it clear he won’t resign and the man in line to succeed him was hit with another sexual assault accusation and barraged with demands that he step down, too.

Top Democrats, including a number of presidential hopefuls and most of Virginia’s congressional delegation, swiftly and decisively turned against Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, who stands to become the state’s second black governor if Northam quits.

[...]

Northam, now a year into his four-year term, announced his intention to stay at an afternoon Cabinet meeting, according to a senior official who was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

In so doing, Northam defied practically the entire Democratic Party, which rose up against him after a racist photo on his 1984 medical school yearbook surfaced and he acknowledged wearing blackface in the 1980s.

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With Fairfax facing increased pressure to go, with a Democratic House Delegate saying he will file articles of impeachment against him if he doesn’t resign b Monday, it could be a situation where the two white guys who admitted to racist antics stay and the black officeholder is forced to step down. Yeah, that’s a good look, but these are the Left’s rules. And not only did Democrats get bitten by them, but Northam thinks he can play by a different set of rules a la Hillary Clinton. To make this more of a joke, Northam has been assigned reading about the case for reparations, among other things, as he prepares to retool his agenda to highlight race and equality. The man who wore blackface is leading the charge for this…you just cannot make this stuff up. Yes, it’s BuzzFeed, but if true, and it probably is because the only person thus far who isn’t an idiot in the Northam orbit is his wife (she stopped him from doing a moonwalk at a presser), then the state should be roundly trashed and mocked as a laughing stock. Oh wait; it already is. 

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Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, still facing calls to resign as governor a week after the revelation that his page in a medical school yearbook features a racist photograph, is now tightly focused on coming up with plans to survive.

His office has begun to explore how it might recalibrate Northam’s legislative agenda to focus closely on race and equality, sources close to the governor tell BuzzFeed News. The move would mark a brazen attempt to hang onto his office by shifting the conversation away from Northam’s admission of having once worn blackface and his denials that he is featured in the racist yearbook photo, either as the person in blackface or the person in a Klan outfit. Northam’s policy team is looking at crafting a set of proposals based on the premise that the governor’s mistakes have rendered him keenly aware of inequity and the lack of justice faced by black Virginians 400 years after the first African people arrived in the Commonwealth, at Point Comfort, in 1619.

[…]

Northam doesn’t plan to hold any more press conferences any time soon. Advisers are in the midst of negotiations with major networks for a nationally televised interview they hope will humanize him. Additionally, his advisers have assigned the governor homework: He’s begun to read Alex Haley’s “Roots”, and “The Case for Reparations,” the seminal essay in The Atlantic by Ta-Nehisi Coates.

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