Ralph Northam Not Cleared By Report on Racist Photos
Nothing’s changed. Gov. Ralph Northam is still a Virginia embarrassment.
Northam and what’s left of his supporters know he wasn’t exonerated yesterday in the matter of the racist photo that magically appeared on his personal medical school yearbook page in 1984.
Shoot, when the story broke on Feb. 1, Northam admitted he was in the picture.
Here’s what the governor said then: “I am deeply sorry for the decision I made to appear as I did in this photo and for the hurt that decision caused then and now.”
The governor backtracked on Feb. 2, bizarrely saying that upon reflection, he wasn’t in the photo. As if you’d forget posing in blackface. Or Klan couture.
Now Northam’s hoping that the public is either weary of the scandal or willing to be confused by friendly headlines saying, “Investigation Could Not ‘Conclusively Determine’ Whether Northam In Racist Photo,” or “Probe Into Ralph Northam’s Yearbook Photo Deemed Inconclusive.”
Of course the probe was inconclusive. I could have told you it would be back in February.
It’s nearly impossible to determine the identity of someone with shoe polish all over his mug in a 35-year-old black-and-white yearbook photo. Oh, and it’s not possible to peek under a Klan hood to see if the future governor of Virginia is lurking underneath.
Nevertheless, Northam presses on with his silly story, never explaining how that hideous picture landed on his personal yearbook page.
The appearance of that magical photo will join the Bermuda Triangle, Roswell and Bigfoot as one of the world’s greatest unsolved mysteries.
"I am not in the racist and offensive photo that appears under my name in the 1984 Eastern Virginia Medical School yearbook," Northam said yesterday. “That being said, I know and understand the events of early February and my response to them have caused hurt for many Virginians and for that, I am sorry. I felt it was important to take accountability for the photo’s presence on my page, but rather than providing clarity, I instead deepened pain and confusion."
This is gibberish. It might even be amusing if Northam hadn’t won the governorship in 2017 by ruthlessly painting his mainstream Republican opponent, Ed Gillespie, as a racist.
The juxtaposition of the blackface photo and the nasty Northam campaign for governor is an object lesson in political hypocrisy.
Yesterday, a team hired by Eastern Virginia Medical School released a report - costing roughly $300,000 - into the yearbook mystery that said essentially, “we don’t know who the hell is in the picture and there’s no evidence that it got on Northam’s page by accident.”
But it turns out that the current and past presidents of the medical school knew about the pictures, hid the yearbook at class reunions and personally showered Northam with campaign funds in spite of the photo.
In other words, Northam’s racist yearbook page was covered up by EVMS brass who happened to be his political supporters.
Disgraceful. Every damn bit of it.
Not that it matters to many Virginia Democrats. When The Richmond Times-Dispatch tried to reach them yesterday, most were hiding under their desks or claiming not to have details of the report.
A far cry from the righteous indignation that rained down on Northam during the first few days of February when a chorus of indignant Dems from around the country and commonwealth demanded the governor’s resignation.
Of course, that was when they assumed that Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax would take office and - best of all - be able to run for re-election in two years, with Attorney General Mark Herring waiting his turn in the wings.
A win-win for Democrats, with only Northam destined for the dumpster.
Then two credible women appeared, accusing Fairfax of sexual assault and rape. And days later we learned that Herring, too, cavorted in blackface while in college.
If all three of this trio of Virginia miscreants were forced to resign a - gasp - Republican, Speaker of the House Kirk Cox, would be governor.
Just like that, Virginia Democrats decided that blackface wasn’t such a bad thing. And shoot, this #MeToo business is over the top, no need to believe ALL women.
Ralph Northam may still be clinging to his office, but the guy whose college nickname was “Coonman” remains radioactive.
And this ridiculous report did nothing to change that.