Virginia Democrats dealing with blackface and sexual assault allegations

Virginia’s Democrat governor NOrtham was all over the news for his support of infanticide (first we make them comfortable, then we discuss how to kill them). It was not a good look.

Then an explosive photograph bumped the infanticide story right off the collective media consciousness. On his college yearbook page from around ’84 is a photo of two white folks, one in blackface and one a KKK outfit. It’s clearly a party, my guess is Hallowe’en, and their idea was probably something like the intended to be funny but just as distasteful nun and devil costume pairing one sees from time to time. Incidentally, under that photo is a quote from student Northram about how much he loves drinking. Cue outrage and calls for his resignation.
Cue defenses saying blackface wasn’t seen as that bad back then.
Cue outrage saying everybody knew better back then, nobody but racists thought it was okay.
Cue reminders of the 90 something travesty with Whoopie Goldberg and Ted Danson, where he wore blackface to her roast (they were dating at the time) and she made excuses for him and said they planned it together but he still had to apologize.
Cue 19 year olds playing moral outrage on twitter saying they had NEVER ONCE thought of donning blackface so clearly only a racist ever would have.

Look, I don’t know. I really don’t. I was raised by parents who really were light years ahead of their time when it came to racial issues and it definitely is not something I would ever have done or condoned myself. But I don’t know that this says anything about everybody else. In the eighties and nineties these other things happened: Hollywood produced Soul Man, which is all about a modern guy in blackface faking it to get a scholarship to Harvard. Dan Akroyd wore blackface in a movie with Eddie Murphy (Trading Places).
In 2013 BET did a quick slide show of entertainers who used blackface. It’s not exhaustive but it is interesting- Cindy Lauper?

I am not super keen on tracking down yearbooks from 30 years ago and holding people responsible today for having said stupid or injudicious things and dressing like complete idiots and admitting to liking beer. But you do have to kind of admire all the cosmic Karma found on a single yearbook page and note the differences in coverage and reaction between this and Kavanaugh.

You’ll want to hold onto that thought a bit.

AT first Northam held a press conference and admitted it was him (but wouldn’t say which one), and apologized but refused to resign. Then a whole day later he held another press conference and said it wasn’t him, although he had put some brown stuff on his face once and dressed up as Michael Jackson for a dance contest. At that press conference he came perilously close to actually performing the moon walk until his more politically astute and probably horrified wife tersely told him it was inappropriate. He also refused to resign.

Justin Fairfax is the Democrat Lt Gov who would step into his place if Northam resigns. We had the pleasant and never surprising spectacle of a blue checkmark on the left (Jennifer Rubin) calling for Northam to resign since we had this amazing, articulate black Lt Gov all ready to step into place. Yes. She said articulate. Or maybe it was eloquent. I just know she complimented him in that stereotypically backhanded way that was okay when Biden did it, but is generally frowned on.

Meanwhile… the groundswell calling for Northam to step down hit a speed bump when it turned out that the shiny clean and articulate black guy who would step into his place has an unaddressed accusation of sexual assault.
Did I say Karma? I did.

The alleged assault happened at the convention where Edwards was running, and Fairfax was Edwards’ ‘body man.’

I kid not. This is like something from an Evelyn Waugh novel.

Fairfax said the Wapo had investigated it and found it groundless, and also actually, there were red flags with the story, so they refused to run it (unlike Kavanaugh where every allegation no matter how bizarre and unfounded, including anonymous claims from anonymous emails were reported breathlessly). And also, he would sue anybody who spread these baseless unsupported anonymous lies. Also, he suggested that maybe this was coming out now because it was strangely convenient for Northam, although he did walk that back later and suggest it was politically expedient for some other political opponent he slyly hinted at while complaining about unfounded anonymous allegations against himself.

But the thing is, this wasn’t really anonymous. He knew who she was. The media knew (especially the media who had looked at the allegations back in 2004 and decided not to report them because their job is to look into stories and decide which ones to cover with a pillow so they don’t embarrass democrats, credit to David Burge, Iowaman). They knew who she was and, I believe, some of the press even spoke to her. She told people at the time and had times and dates. In addition, Fairfax admits there was a sexual encounter that was consensual, and she says it started consensually but she wanted it to stop and then it became an assault. (update- she says kissing was consensual, but she had no intention of the encounter being more than kissing, and he forced himself on her- account here, with some graphic details. Also, Fairfax is reported to be privately in a rage and saying ‘F that B….’)

The WaPo came out and said well, Fairfax was fudging a bit. They had not released the story because they only had he said/she said, not additional details that supported either side (which has never stopped them from reporting even less supported allegations when the targets are conservative). But they said it is not true that there were any red flags at all. Hmmmmmmm.

And now she has come forward and let herself be named- Vanessa Tyson. She’s an associate professor of politics at Scripps College in California.

She’s not happy about being branded a liar. He’s not happy about being branded an assaulter. Unlike Chrissy Blasey Ford and Kavanaugh, Ms. Tyson has told people, and she can name the time and place and Fairfax isn’t saying he doesn’t even know her. He admits she’s right about the time and the place and that they had a sexual encounter. He just says it was consensual and he also says she was really into him.

And if all this was not enough- each of them have now lawyered up. I am not making this up- reports in the press are that she has hired the same firm who represented Chrissy Blasey Ford, and he has hired Kavanaugh’s lawyers.

So you might be wondering who would be next in line if Northram is convinced to resign and Fairfax is embroiled in sexual assault allegations.

It’s the state attorney general, also a Democrat, who just released a statement confessing that he, too, had dressed in blackface for a party once and there might be photographs.

I don’t know who is next in line, but I am sure they are combing their yearbooks and baby pictures.

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One Comment

  1. Posted February 14, 2019 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    4:57 PM 02/01/2019 | Politics. Benny Johnson and Amber Athey | Reporters. … in a cowboy hat and another with two men — one in blackface and another in a white KKK outfit. It is unclear who is wearing the offensive, racist costumes. … african americans democrats kkk ralph northam. share on facebook tweet this show comments.

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