To be clear, racism in any form is not tolerable. Discrimination in any form is not tolerable. The pictures of Governor Northam that surfaced on the first day of Black History Month are unacceptable. It is also clear that Americans are emotionally reacting to the reminder of the hurts and realities of the past, and unfortunately the present. In 2019, we’ve seen a heightening of 24 hour news cycles only telling parts or emotionally charged portions of a story; thereby, igniting all sorts of divisive behaviors, cyber-bullying, and verbal abuse.
My initial reaction was, “these photos are appalling, even worse than the berating of a Virginian delivered by Del. Ransone during an official sub-committee hearing last week.” Yes, last week, not 33 years ago. Prior to responding, I needed to understand how the narrative was affecting Virginians.
I discussed this at length with my team, some of my church members, members of the Northern Neck Baptist Association, general neighbors, and constituents of the Northern Neck. It is clear no-one is tolerant of the pictures regardless of timeframe.
Even the Republicans, who have hoisted several candidates embodying the values of racist, Neo-Nazi, and openly bigoted groups, have condemned the photos.
I’ve seen my own Delegate, Margaret Ransone, call attention to the calls for resignation of Governor Northam via her political page, despite her proud public announcement to continue to allow the Supreme Court to rule in favor of those discriminating against women.
She wants the voice of prominent Virginians to prevail in this specific circumstance of the Governor while simultaneously standing with Speaker Cox to roadblock the millions of men and women who desire to see the Equal Rights Amendment brought to a simple floor vote. The hypocrisy in our governing society, from the highest levels of government down to local elected officials, is disgraceful.
However, this post has less to do with my opponent or a hidden political agenda, but everything to do with racism, bigotry, and discrimination, more specifically the tolerance of the three. Frankly, none of the three is acceptable. We often misjudge the character of people because of what we see in a sound bite.
The true content of one’s character is best displayed through their actions. Governor Northam has clearly served Virginia in one of the most honorable capacities. He has even served our country in war. In war, the greatest and most honorable acts of leadership are acts which are selfless. The war waging in Virginia is racism, bigotry, and discrimination.
There are two choices the Governor can make: sacrifice himself, for the honor of our Commonwealth or lead the charge by introducing sweeping measures to eliminate all the systemic, racist, and discriminating instruments & institutions that exist in Virginia.
He has passed on the opportunity to resign publicly, I pray that Governor Northam makes the right choice.