In Virginia, the upper echelons of the state government is in a state of disarray. What has transpired over the last few weeks has been one of the oddest sequence of events that I have witnessed since Trump ran for president.
As a quick recap, Governor Ralph Northam was revealed to have a blackface photo from an old yearbook. In the photo, he is dressed in blackface (even though he denies it) and someone is standing next to him in a KKK robe. It is odd that this photo had never showed up during the recent campaign or past elections as it probably would have caused Northam to drop out. Instead it came during a time when Virginia was pushing late term abortion laws. Conservative pundit Dan Bongino had stated that he had seen the photo a year ago, but couldn’t verify the photo.
Although Bongino did not do his job properly and go visit a library in order to see if the photo was real or not (and instead went on a block spree on twitter) Democrats were quick to tell Northam to step down. Open Society and Planned Parenthood were two of the big groups to lead the charge. After a press conference, Northam denied the photo and said he will not step down.
Right afterwards, Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax was hit with a scandal of his own. He was accused of sexual assault. Right after that, the Attorney General of the state, Mark Herring, admitted that he too wore blackface back in the day. As a note, these are the top three positions in the state and each of them have a scandal. Fairfax was hit with another claim of sexual assault and rape from another woman afterwards.
Right now all three men are fighting in order to keep their positions, but the pressure from the state has cracked down on one, Justin Fairfax. The state was planning on impeaching him, but backed off on those plans today.
Why only impeach Fairfax? I think we all can look at the offense of blackface and the offense of rape/sexual assault and decide that what Fairfax is accused of doing is far worse.
In the modern times of political correctness, some would argue that blackface is just as bad. While I do think that blackface has no place in society today, rape is far, far worse.
Should Northam and Herring resign? I think that should be up to the people of Virginia. I do not live in the state and I was also born years after the photo was taken so I have no idea how prevalent blackface was in those times. It could have been rare, it could have been common, but if it was done today there is no way it would not be a scandal. It is hard to hold the past accountable for the standards of today and I believe that creates a slippery slope. I am just going to sit this one out and just watch what the people of Virginia decide. That is the way the government is intended to work.
What also should be noted is that Northam and Herring, the two who are seemingly getting off the hook, are both establishment players. Fairfax is an outsider. Northam is connected to Former Governor Terry McAuliffe who is calling for Fairfax to resign. McAuliffe is accused of campaign finance violations and is connected to the Clintons and disgraced former FBI Director Andrew McCabe. What is interesting too is that Senator Mark Warner, also a Democrat, is defending Fairfax.
The case of Fairfax is where things get even odder because there are striking parallels to the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh who is a Republican.
Taking a trip down memory lane, days before Kavanaugh was going to be confirmed, an accuser named Dr. Christine Blasey Ford came forward and said that Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her at a party back in high school. After that a few more women came forward to say that Kavanaugh assaulted them as well. Dr. Ford came forward to testify her claims before the Senate and they were deemed insufficient. The Democrats would then call for an FBI investigation into the claims which turned out to clear Kavanaugh in the end. Ironically, a few of the later accusers were referred to the FBI for lying.
In the case of Fairfax, we have another Dr., Dr. Vanessa C. Tyson. She came forward during an injunction where the governor of the state was in the midst of possibly resigning. Why not come forward during the election? Why wait for Northam? This is similar to those women finally coming forward right before Brett Kavanaugh was going to be confirmed. He had been confirmed to US District Courts beforehand, why wait until a politically motivated happening?
To continue further, Fairfax had hired the same law firm as Kavanaugh,
Wilkinson Walsh Eskovitz. To venture further into bizarro world, Dr. Tyson hired the same law firm as Dr. Ford, Katz, Marshall & Banks LLP. Now Fairfax is calling for an FBI investigation into the claims in order to clear his name.
The parallels are striking, but the reaction is not. People on the right are calling for Fairfax to step down just because he is a Democrat. This was the way the people on the left were calling for Kavanaugh to step down amidst his scandal because he was nominated by Trump.
Have we come to a point where guilty and innocence is defined by a person’s party? The America that I know is a person is innocent until proven guilty, not innocent if you represent the party I vote for. There is a lot of political implications that can stem from Fairfax resigning and that may be the basis behind these women coming forward.
I expressed my opinion on this matter on Twitter and received better reception than I originally anticipated.
If we ever want to move forward as a society, we have to stop polarizing events and occurrences based on political parties. You never know, the next person who could be falsely accused is you. Would you want your guilt or innocence decided by what party you vote for?