In one of the strangest political stories of the year, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam (D) now claims that he was not in the racist photo seen on his personal yearbook page in the 1984 Eastern Virginia Medical School yearbook that came to light in early February, following the inconclusive results of a school investigation into the matter.
"I am not in the racist and offensive photo that appears under my name in the 1984 Eastern Virginia Medical School yearbook," Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam says after results of school's investigation.
When reports first surfaced about the photo, which depicts a man in "black-face" and another dressed in a KKK Klansman's outfit with a hood, Northam denied being in the picture. He then publicly admitted to being in the picture. He said he was the one in the "black-face" presumably because that would be better than the KKK outfit. He passed it off as being a "different time" and said he was dressed that way to honor Michael Jackson and started doing the moon-walk on stage as his wife tried to pull him off.
Now that the Eastern Virginia Medical School's "investigation" is "inconclusive" as to who was in the "black-face" depicted in the photo, Northam now denies being in it at all. It is likely that the investigation was inconclusive as to Northam's participation in the photo because it was Northam being the hood, and he had simply chosen to say that it was he in the "black-face" because it would be easier to explain.
"An investigation by Eastern Virginia Medical School could not "conclusively determine" whether Northam was person shown in racist yearbook photo, the school said today.
After an initial firestorm from both sides of the political isle, it was also discovered that the Lt. Governor of Virginia had problems of his own fighting rape and sexual assault allegations. Once it was determined that calls for both to step down would lead to the Republican leader of the State House being appointed Governor, then all calls from his party for either of them to step down ceased immediately. Democrats suddenly found compassion and forgiveness for his actions in a "different era".
Democrat leaders determined that since Democrats have been the party that created the KKK, fought against civil rights, and have had numerous members of the party in high political positions who were also members of the Klan (some even the most high positions), that they better take this compassionate and forgiving tone since it is very likely that additional members of their party would be found in such situations.
According to the report released by school officials...
"With respect to the Photograph on Governor Northam's personal page, we could not conclusively determine the identity of either individual depicted in the Photograph. The Governor himself has made inconsistent public statements in this regard. No individual that we interviewed has told us from personal knowledge that the Governor is in the Photograph, and no individual with knowledge has come forward to us to report that the Governor is in the Photograph".
Apparently the Governor thinks that this lets him off the hook despite having admitted to the offense. He also claims that this was the first time that he had seen "his page" in the yearbook and was highly offended that such a picture would have been included though typical policy is that the students get to pic the pictures and layout of their own pages.
Northam's latest response in a statement released Wednesday afternoon, again denied that he is in the photo, but apologized for the incident and the confusion he created by his response.
"I am not in the racist and offensive photo that appears under my name in the 1984 Eastern Virginia Medical School yearbook," wrote Northam, "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."
At a press conference on Wednesday, Richard V. Homan, the medical school's president and provost, said that the school hired an outside law firm, McGuireWoods, to conduct the investigation in order to "maintain the public’s trust and ensure an independent and objective assessment of the past."
"Their publication was hurtful, particularly to the African-American community and to our campus community," Homan said. "It should never have happened."
"Unless we face this fact head-on, this bias and racism will not abate. Uncomfortable silence only perpetuates these problems. We must engage in direct conversations, even if they are uncomfortable, even if they are difficult. Notwithstanding, talking is not enough," Homan added.
The report, headed by Richard Cullen, a senior partner at McGuireWoods and a former Virginia attorney general and former U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, found that no one "with first-hand knowledge of an actual mistake on any page, including any personal page, within the 1984 yearbook" and no evidence that the photo was placed in error. The report also identified 10 photographs depicting individuals in blackface based on the law firm’s review of all the school's yearbooks, according to investigators.
It is quite likely that the school's investigation was inconclusive because Northam was actually the one wearing the hood. Just the unusual way that Northam holding drinks is enough to indicate, though circumstantial, that he is the one wearing the hood.
This really gets down to the hypocrisy of the Democrat party. After calls for Northam's resignation, the Democrats are now silent after the discovery of the Lt. Governor's own legal issues that might allow the Republican's to take over the Governor's Mansion in Richmond. Calls for the persecution of Judge Kavanaugh over unfounded and unsubstantiated allegations of sexual assault, and cries of "all women must be believed", are put on the back burner as the Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax calls for "justice" and "due process" and asserting that he "should be treated fairly".
Of course, had this been a Republican, the press and the Democrats would have pounded the issue until the Governor stepped down, but what we saw was a coordinated shift from all news outlets to talk shows like "The View", all suddenly suggesting that the Democrats have found the Lord, and should find forgiveness in their hearts for transgression from the "different era", and that it is "essential that we move on."
And just like that...POOF! The issues disappeared until the release of this report from The Virginia Eastern Medical School. The Governor's term expires in 2021, and he will not be allowed to run again, so I suppose that they are willing to just let this one ride. But, this hypocrisy should no doubt be raised again in the new elections in Virginia even though Northam will not be involved himself, unless he decides to run for Congress. This is just one example, in one state, of such hypocrisy that needs to be explained by Democrats around the country.