It’s pretty clear that Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam is lying about the racist photo that appeared in his medical school yearbook. How do I know?
In denying that he was pictured in the photo of a person in blackface and a person in a KKK costume — a day after apologizing for being in it — he said, and I quote: “I believe that I am not either of the people in that photo.”
Look, I can’t remember everything I did 30 years ago. I don’t want to remember everything I did 30 years ago. There are therapists who need therapy after listening to me talk about 30 years ago. But I can vividly remember the amount of times I was pictured in blackface or in a KKK costume — zero.
I can remember that number — again, zero — because that’s the amount of times I’ve worn blackface or dressed up like a Klansman. Therefore, if I were confronted with such a photo alleging to be of me, my response would be: “Absolutely not! Only a right-wing, racist, idiot, nut-job would be in that photo! It ain’t me! I’d have dang sure remembered doing something so stupid — at age 25, 15 or 5! I’ve done many stupid things, but that ain’t one of them! This is baloney!”
My response would not be: “I believe that I am not either of the people in that photo.” My response would be: “I AM NOT either or the people.” This is not something you believe or don’t believe. This is something you know or you don’t know.
He says he changed his story because he did not know what racist picture people were talking about when he first apologized for being in it. Baloney. Again, if someone came to me and said a highly offensive, racist photo of me was circulating in the media, I’d respond: “Um, I can’t imagine what in the world that might be. I need to see it! I don’t believe it!” It wouldn’t be: “Hmm, I had so many racist moments captured on camera that I don’t even need to pinpoint which one it was. I’ll go ahead and apologize for whatever one it might be.”
Whether someone’s racist, sexist, homophobic or whatever actions of three decades ago warrant dismissal is for Virginia’s voters to decide. Times change, and sometimes people change with them. Sometimes people evolve. Sometimes they don’t and would rather go back to a more “great again” time. Even Mr. Segregation Forever George Wallace had a political future in Alabama. Granted, it was Alabama, but still.
So, Virginians, if you want to make the case that Ralph Northam is not a racist anymore, go ahead. Make your case. But if you want to make the case that he is an honest man, you don’t have a case. And you don’t have to go back very far in time to see that.