Oh and Please Stop Calling him a Racist.
So Ralph Northam got busted. He apparently, was either dressed as Blackface or a member of the Klu Klux Klan in a 1984 university year book.
I personally find this photograph distasteful as a black and civil rights advocate.
According to Oxford, here is a lexical definition of racism:
“ The belief that all members of each race possess characteristics, abilities, or qualities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races.” I personally find this photograph distasteful as a black and civil rights advocate. However, I think it is very difficult to objectively conclude on Northman’s beliefs, motivations and intent for dressing up in such a manner.
It’s very suspicious that he claims not to remember which party he was in the photo. Nevertheless,it is possible that the audience he dressed up for was considered less public and enforcing about what was and was not politically correct. Let me elaborate. I grew up in Sierra Leone, West Africa. If a university student had dressed up in our early 20’s as Adolf Hitler ,(as dumb as that would have been)to attend a fancy dress party among friends, I doubt there would have been much outrage. Did you know, you can actually buy Hitler masks and Gestapo uniforms on amazon.com?”. There is also an incident involving an Oxford university student that similarly dressed up as the Klu Klux Klan. He went on to compete for Oxford in a boat race. If the audience for Norman’s tomfoolery was not meant to be the black and civil rights community, in my opinion it is hard to see what harm was intended.
“There is a double standard in the United States, when it comes to freedom of speech and expression.”
There is a double standard in the United States, when it comes to freedom of speech and expression. Last year, there were terrible hate crimes perpetrated against the Jewish community, and senior political figures. The media was rightly so, quick to point to the poisonous rhetoric of President Donald J. Trump as an influence. Several years ago, there was an inhumane bombing of the Charlie magazine office in France. I don’t know of any Western media outlets that suggested the cartoonists that caricatured the Islamic’s Prophet Mohammed, which motivated the attack, should be similarly held accountable for “their” influence.
We are quick to fiercely protect freedom of speech and expression from the government meddling, yet the court of public opinion takes matters into their own hands to simultaneously become judge, jury and executioner.
Often freedom of speech and expression is not considered to be harmful because it is not physical violence. yet, CNN was overflow with commentators opining about how hurt they were when they found out about Northman’s photo. We are quick to fiercely protect freedom of speech and expression from the government meddling, yet the court of public opinion takes matters into their own hands to simultaneously become judge, jury and executioner. My fear is that this court, knows no limit and always seek the maximum penalty possible.
Let’s go with the notion that Northam was guilty of immorality. I don’t see the objective (as opposed to societal) moral principle here that was violated but that is the subject of another debate. This was 35 years ago. I am interested now to learn about the history of his actions and conduct in public office. Has he been guilty of a racist agenda?
This of course is not just a moral question. Some analysts have suggested, that Northam has lost the moral authority and political status to effectively govern. How is this conclusion being arrived at? Has a reliable survey of those he govern and is governed by been conducted? If the answer is in the affirmative, and there is a case for him to stand down in the best interest of his constituency and perhaps even the country, then that I suggest is what he should do.