A quick Google search showed that mainstream media appeared to be collectively falling for the most obvious okey doke hook, line and sinker when they reported en masse that an “investigation” into Ralph Northam‘s blackface medical school yearbook photo couldn’t prove if the Virginia governor was actually pictured in the racist image. It was a strange update to an even stranger storyline that began on the first day of Black History Month and transformed into an all-out blame game that resulted in rape accusations for Justin Fairfax, Northam’s Black lieutenant governor.
“While investigators noted that Northam has made “inconsistent public statements” about his participation in the photo, which features a person in blackface and another in a Ku Klux Klan robe, they were unable to find anyone who could shed light on the image on the governor’s personal page in his Eastern Virginia Medical School yearbook,” according to an NBC News article that all but echoed what other major media outlets were reporting instead of focusing on how Northam willingly chose to use that photo in 1984, not whether he was in it.
Northam initially said on Feb. 2 he was “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. This behavior is not in keeping with who I am today and the values I have fought for throughout my career in the military, in medicine, and in public service. But I want to be clear, I understand how this decision shakes Virginians’ faith in that commitment.”
“I believe now and then that I am not either of the people in this photo,” Northam said Feb. 3. “This was not me in that picture. That was not Ralph Northam.” He continued, “I intend to continue doing the business of Virginia. I could avoid an honest conversation about harmful actions from my past. I cannot in good conscience choose the path that would be easier for me in an effort to duck my responsibility to reconcile.”
More blackface photos were ultimately uncovered in Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS) yearbooks. The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported Wednesday that EMVS President Richard Homan said he knew all along that the blackface yearbook photos existed, lending credence to the suggestion that it was a racist tradition at the school for future doctors. He said he remained silent about it on purpose and would do the same thing again.
Meanwhile, Northam has deflected attention from his racist scandal to Fairfax, who has been fighting for his political life after two women surfaced with sexual assault allegations after learning he could become governor if Northam resigned.
Only he hasn’t resigned, and likely will not, as shown by his recent return to the campaign trail on behalf of Democrats, who, as a Party, have back pedaled on calls for Northam’s resignation in Virginia’s political blackface scandal that extended to Attorney General Mark Herring.
As of Wednesday afternoon, all of the white men involved in the blackface scandal were still standing while the future of Fairfax, the lone Black person in the very racist equation, remained uncertain.
Sounds about white.