Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam,
a Democrat, is under fire after discovery of a blackface photo on his medical school yearbook page in 1984. Many prominent Democrats, including former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe and that state’s Black Legislative Caucus, have called for his resignation. Will he? Should he? UPDATE: he says it isn’t him, but ….

I think he should resign. I also think his resignation is likely in the face of mounting Democratic pressure, though he has apologized and indicated so far in both a written and video and news channel nferencr statements that he intends to stay on.

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I’ll leave it to rightwing extremist Erick Erickson to raise a question (below) that I”ve had: Is there a statute of limitations on youthful stupidity? How long is it? Are there certain violations that are without limit (I’d argue, for example, that blackface or use of a racial epithet might be forgivable, depending on specifics such as age of offender, where sexual assault is not)? Do those who defend their tribes’ racist/misogynist/criminal members cede the right to condemn others? Do we credit redemption and forgive sins only in church, but not in politics?

Anyway, it is correct in the Northam case to say: He was an adult college graduate when he participated in and knowingly published a photo of something beyond-the-pale racist; 1984 was a long time after the civil rights struggles of the 1960s (Jesse Jackson was a viable candidate for president in Virginia by then); his record in recent times on race and many others has been exemplary.

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What do you think?


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