The Bishop and the Butterfly: Murder, Politics, and the End of the Jazz Age
    Danny Cardwell's picture

    Governor Northam: Exhibit (A) In The Case Against Politicians

    Rudolph Cardwell Sr., Perlista Henry, Ralph Northam, Linda Cardwell, Danny Cardwell 


    Ralph has to go! There's no way he can continue as the Governor of Virginia. This is a painful sentence to write, but a necessary one. I've covered the Governor at a debate, a ribbon cutting, and a few other small events. I've met him a handful of times. I sincerely thought he was the real deal. He came off as a kind and caring person, but he has to resign. I was fooled. We all were fooled. He. Has. To. Go.

    If Governor Northam turned over a new leaf and changed his "past" racist ways he did a horrible job of trying to convince us. His press conference was painful. He either doesn't get the outrage behind his past actions or doesn't care. His apology was almost as disappointing as his yearbook photo and past fascination with Blackface. He acted as if he found out Friday this picture existed. He expected us to believe that a 25 year old intelligent medical student didn't have the intellectual horsepower to know how offensive those images have always been. He. Has. To.Go.

    Governor Northam is the kind of politician older Black activist have been warning me about. He's the kind of politician I've been writing about since I started participating in politics. He's the kind of white politician who shows up in Black churches singing hymns and talking about how bad racism is. He's the kind of Democratic politician who understands how important the Black vote is and will say anything to get it. He's the kind of politician who makes communities of color distrustful of election year shenanigans. His presences in the Governor's mansion is a slap in the face to voters of color who have been taken for granted by the very politicians they entrusted with their support. He. Has. To. Go.

    This has been a disastrous week for the governor. He started out having his words willfully distorted concerning Delegate Kathy Tran's abortion bill, and now he is facing calls for his resignation by many of the Virginia (and national) politicians who helped him ascend to the office of Lieutenant Governor and ultimately Governor. I'm sure he wishes he could return to the good ole days where the most controversial issue he had to deal with was the amount of money he has taken from Dominion Energy and his tacit support of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. He has to resign before Virginia Democrats are forced to impeach him. The only noble thing left for him to do in Virginia politics is save us from the media circus that would follow impeachment proceedings. He. Has. To. Go.


    Thanks, Danny. How could Northam not know if he was in an offensive picture? Then he tells us about shoe polish and Michael Jackson. This was while he was in medical school. There are other yearbook pictures of medical students in blackface. Couple this with multiple medical studies that document black patients receive a lower level of healthcare compared to whites. This disparity occurs despite equal income and levels of insurance. The pictures help solidify concerns about how black patients are treated in hospital and in outpatient care. Who was in charge of what went on in the yearbook?

    Apparently, he had to call classmates to find out if he was in the original photo. That is insane.

    In 1984, Jesse Jackson was running for President. In 1984, a sitcom “Giimme A Break” starring Nell Carter was aware enough to broadcast an episode that discussed the hurt associated wit blackface. There is no excuse.

    Thanks for adding more balance to the debate.

    He has to go.

    If the Michael Jackson dance skit was the first time Northam used shoe polish, how did he know that it was difficult to remove shoe polish? That may suggest that he applied shoe polish on other occasions.

    Northam is holding staff meetings. He is considering “options”, including resigning.

    Elie Mystal: No argument for Northam to keep his job

    Northam betrayed black voters

    Black voter anger and sadness

    Edit to add:

    From the Charlotte Observer:

    The incident is the third in recent weeks: Last month, Florida's secretary of state resigned after photos from a 2005 Halloween party showed him in blackface dressed as a Hurricane Katrina victim. Also last month, videos surfaced of people in blackface at the University of Oklahoma, including a man walking near campus. Two students withdrew from the university and apologized.

    Such incidents are not only hurtful; they can be harmful when they happen at institutions of higher learning and are perpetrated by people who go on to impact the lives of people of color as decision-makers — from politicians to doctors. A recent University of Virginia study showed that black Americans are systematically undertreated for pain relative to white patients, and that white laypeople and medical students and residents hold false beliefs about the biological differences between the races — beliefs that can affect the perception and treatment of black patients.






    Northam’s medical school stopped publishing yearbooks after 2013. The then new provost discovered pictures of students posing in Confederate garb and with Confederate flags. This was 30 years after the offensive pictures in the 1984 yearbook. The school is investigating how racist pictures would up in the yearbooks.



    Alumi from Northum's era are queried in this other WaPo article, including two African Americans and a Jew. Results are not what you'd think from the headline. So they either must have been clueless to the racism that was around them, or it was so well hidden they didn't notice it, or they are lying. It is curious. Times change, people change, and people often don't remember stuff, especially if it wasn't traumatic.

    Analysis: Northam struggles to escape Virginia’s troubled past — and his own By Peter Jamison, Michael Laris and
    Fenit Nirappil February 2@ WaPo

    [....] “The Ralph that I know wouldn’t do something like that. He never showed any of those kinds of attitudes, never, during the entire time we were there,” said Walter G. Broadnax Jr. “I’m just dumbfounded by it all.”

    Broadnax, a retired neurologist who is African American and now lives in Chesapeake, Va., after years practicing in Cincinnati, described Eastern Virginia Medical School in 1984 as a tolerant campus where he never detected overt racial bias from other students.

    That description was echoed by Tobin Naidorf, who also graduated in 1984 and is now a gastroenterologist in Alexandria. Naidorf, who is Jewish and originally from Northern Virginia, said his medical school lacked many of the outdated Southern attitudes he had seen as an undergraduate at the University of Virginia.

    Naidorf said the offensive outfits on Northam’s yearbook page would have been unacceptable at medical students’ social gatherings. Far from being an outpost of bigotry, Naidorf said, the school was populated by idealistic young medical students eager to practice in low-income communities.

    “If anything, EVMS was founded on humanistic principles to provide care to the underserved population in Tidewater,” Naidorf said. “I never saw anything like that at parties.”

    Naidorf said that he did not know Northam well during their time at the school, but that his impression was of a “nice guy, soft-spoken.”

    E. Franklin Roberts, an African American obstetrician in Virginia Beach, was a year ahead of Northam at EVMS. He said students of the same race sometimes stuck together, but not always. He said a sense of camaraderie in the face of the medical school’s demands brought students together, and they would frequently drink together on Friday nights [.....]

    If things were good, why did Northam apologize initially?

    Did they know about Northam’s blackface skit?

    The school stopped publishing a yearbook after 2013 because people were posing in Confederate uniforms. Do those facts alter your opinion? 

    he apologized here too, it's in the same article:

    Northam also said that he had worked in recent years to better understand the perspective of African Americans. His 2017 campaign was marked by frequent visits to black churches. On Saturday, he spoke of a road trip during the gubernatorial race with his assistant Seth Opoku-Yeboah.

    The governor said the topic of blackface performances — which originated with 19th-century “minstrel shows” in which white performers would portray African Americans in demeaning ways — came up, and he told Opoku-Yeboah about the Michael Jackson performance.

    “I assume you probably would think that’s offensive,” Northam recalled saying.

    “I would,” Opoku-Yeboah replied.

    Northam recounted his response: “I apologize for what I’ve done in the past and I can promise you I’ll never do that again in the future.”

    Most politicians are not perfect men and women, they are not saints.

    I agreed with NCD that he did a lousy job of explaining himself. But that's not my business that I don't see him as very savvy at handling this, it's the business of the people who voted for him and the Dem party of VA and I wish that the rest of the nation would not show so much interest, especially when it is found to be a right wing op and is about something more than a couple decades old and the person has a clean record doing good work and living a good life at least a decade. Like I said, me, I'd vote for a reformed felon if I thought they were going to do a good job. We have a lot worse right now. I believe that redemption is possible.

    Truth be told, if you are not a Virginian, I find your jihad to crucify in this situation repellant. You sound like a prosecutor in a trial about a horrendous murder. I'd be frightened of you not him. He's embarrassed. But you are not embarrassed to be feeding the right wing website's desires.They play you like a fiddle and you are happy to oblige. Where symbolism is everything and reality is nothing.

    I imagine what other reformed racists think when they see such a jihad. I have same in my own family. It would not be progress to pick at what they once were. They might give up their reformation. Tolerance goes all ways, it is not being all fire and brimstone litmus tests.

    It’s a national story whether you like it or not. 

    If a racist objects when something racist like blackface is pointed out, perhaps they are not reformed.

    The African-American physicians interviewed said that things were good at the medical school. Northam called classmates to determine if he was one of the men in the original photo. That suggests that blackface was worn at parties and Klan garb was considered Ok. I doubt that the African- American physicians were aware that such parties were occurring. Do you think the African-American physicians would have said things were good if they knew about the blackface and Klan garb at parties?

    Was something deleted?

    Now the AG admits to wearing blackface.

    One party’s leadership was comfortable wearing blackface, the other is comfortable running a white supremacy campaign and maintaining Confederate statues and waving Confederate flags. Voters were unaware. Northam’s Democratic challenger might have won the primary.

    Edit to add:

    For those who think this is much ado about nothing, there is a plan for a pipeline that will destroy a historically black district. Northam personally removed two members of a board that had to approve the plan. Those two members questioned the location and safety of the pipeline. Northam has lost trust because of the pipeline plan. The blackface photo does not build confidence.

    2nd Edit to add:

    Vote for Northam because the Republican will disrupt your community.

    Northam wore blackface. Northam is destroying a historic black community.



    Before it comes out I have to confess that when I was younger I usually went barefoot. It got to the point that the soles of my feet were so tough I could walk on any surface without shoes. Of course much of the ground that I walked on was made of dirt which was often quite dirty. Consequently my feet were often dirty. Sometimes with the dirt so deeply ingrained that I was nearly impossible to wash off. My feet were black with dirt. Yes I quite often wore blackfeet in my youth. I realize most of you will now shun me. I deserve it. All of us who wore blackfeet or blackface deserve it. We should all be shunned and driven from the democratic party. If this means republicans take over it's all for the best. A policy of zero tolerance and no forgiveness will make the democratic party pure and therefore stronger. I see now that having republicans in charge is the best thing for the democratic party and black people. 

    Ah, so you're a pied noir... so was Camus.

    People in the district are able to make a connection between the photo and the pipeline.


    Most of the people in the cities wear shoes. Many of the people in the poor white rural areas can't afford shoes and often wear blackfeet. There is a direct connection between the photo and the blackfeet of the white rural communities. You are so wise to have zero tolerance over this issue. When Northam and his AG resign a republican will take over as governor of Virginia and everything will be so much better for Virginian black people.

    If Northam is OK with destroying their district, what is the benefit of having him in office?

    Ok with it? I suspect he's building 600 miles of pipeline just to destroy that one small black town. The photo tells the whole story and it's all we need to know. Blacks in Virginia will be so much better off when republicans are in charge. That's the payday you'll get in the end for your zero tolerance policies. Congratulations!

    Trump wants to build a wall. In doing so he will have to destroy a historic church in Texas. Democrats are opposing the plan. I think their constituents will e happier than those in Virginia.

    You argument seems to be that blacks should be happy that it is a Democrat who removed two people from an oversight board.destroying their homes. It would be much worse if their homes were destroyed by a Republican?


    What's the argument? I'm agreeing with you that removing a democratic governor and a democratic AG to get a republican governor is the best thing that could happen to blacks in Virginia. Zero tolerance works. Given the advantage an incumbent has after 4 years of republican rule he'll likely be re-elected. Woo hoo, great for blacks is Virginia. Nice to be on the same page with you after all these years.

    You are correct. Blacks in the impacted district won’t see a difference.

    Blacks across the state will be better off with republicans in charge. You''re doing a good thing for blacks by pushing democrats out in favor of republicans. 

    There are elections in Virginia this year. All 40 Senate seats and 100 House seats will be on the ballot. Northam could guarantee a Republican legislature.That would really help blacks in Virginia.

    Said I was out of this but I do have to butt in once more because I wonder: where did you see he was actually going to resign? I've seen this other story, and am not surprised that it's also been a favorite in right wing leaning media: Ralph Northam mulls leaving Democratic Party to hold onto governor's seat @ Washington Examiner, | February 06, 2019 07:27 AM. Again I am reminded that no one knows the percentage of party loyalists in the state because when they register, they don't indicate. They've just been voting for Dems of late, doesn't mean they are all Dems. It will be interesting to continue to watch what the people of Virginia do.

    Offering only because I would think everyone interested would like to know about the article

    The Virginia Democratic Party is totally imploding | Analysis by @CillizzaCNN

    — CNN (@CNN) February 6, 2019

    The actual CNN headline is The complete and utter collapse of Virginia's Democratic Party

    and the website has a huge point headline of this right now:

    VIRGINIA/ 'Utterly shocked and terrified': Fairfax accuser details alleged assault

    Vanessa Tyson called the encounter with Fairfax 'horrific' and said it has caused her 'deep humiliation and shame.'

    all the current WaPo home page stories:

    On the brink of historic gains, Virginia Democrats now in full-blown crisis

    A sense of despair has permeated a party that days ago believed it was on the cusp of cementing control of the state and winning majorities in both legislative houses this fall.

    Analysis: Here’s who’s next in line for the governorship — after the attorney general

    Mark R. Herring’s admission was the third recent scandal among the state’s Democratic leaders, coming days after Gov. Ralph Northam was linked to a racist photo and Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax was accused of a 2004 sexual assault.

    The Fix: Herring wanted Northam to resign for wearing blackface. What about him?

    Woman who accused Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax of sexual assault identifies herself and gives her account of what happened

    Vanessa Tyson, a college professor, described the alleged incident in a statement. Fairfax has denied the allegation.

    And on New York Times' home page:


    Virginia Attorney General Says He Also Dressed in Blackface

    • Mark Herring acknowledged Wednesday that he put on dark makeup and wore a wig while an undergraduate of the University of Virginia in 1980.
    • The development deepens the troubles of the Democratic Party in the state, following the crisis over Gov. Ralph Northam’s yearbook photo.

    19m ago

    Woman Accusing Justin Fairfax of Sexual Assault Comes Forward

    Vanessa C. Tyson, an associate professor at Scripps College, said that in 2004 Lt. Gov. Justin E. Fairfax of Virginia forced her to perform oral sex.

    14m ago

    Yearbook Pages at Northam’s Medical School Recorded Both Memories and Prejudices

    Black students from that era recalled a divided campus in which they and their white classmates sat in class together but largely socialized apart.

    7h ago

    All the Democrats had to do was pretend the photos and the press conference didn’t exist. 

    No no no, the democratic party is not in utter collapse. Sometimes you have to destroy the town in order to save it.

    You 60's hippies are all the same. Go ahead, quote Pogo w "we have met the enemy, and he is us". And maybe Rambi, "do we get to win this time?"

    Not The Onion, this new tidbit along those lines is real:

    P.S. BEER?

    And  in reading some of the most recent news articles (unfortunately helping feed the frenzy again), I would just  like to note that this is no college incident from 1980, but rather, she claims it happened at the Democratic National Convention in in Boston in 2004.

    Certainly reminds me of the word circular (where people can add their own metaphors to that as is their slant.)

    Wouldn’t tribal behavior be manifested by standing by Northam? True tribe behavior includes making excuses for Northam.

    Edit to add:

    Given the idea that the Democratic tribe is better than the Republican tribe, the tribe should protect Northam at all costs. Calling for Northam’s removal would not be the action taken by a true tribe. Finding blackface unacceptable would be what a group of individuals agreeing to work for common goals might do. Some individuals may connect blackface with its racist history. Some might even wonder if medical students who wore blackface and a medical school that published a yearbook with blackface photos can be trusted to treat black patients. A tribe would simply make excuses.

    Because. No. One. Ever. Changes. 

    They. Never. Got. Caught. Until. Now.

    You have no problem with Northam destroying a.historic black district. He removed people who opposed the plan.

    Edit to add:

    The Northam photo puts a face to the discrimination black patients feel in physician’s offices

    Sylvia Perry, an assistant professor of social psychology at Northwestern University who focuses on prejudice and health disparities in medicine, said the Northam photo reinforces the concerns of people who have suspicions about doctors and racial bias.

    “It’s like they can finally put a name to a face — literally — and say: ‘This is an example. This is exactly what I’m talking about,’” she said.

    None of us got caught for the shit we did 35 years ago. If we were both of us, both you and I and everyone posting here would be either forgiven or shunned.

    There's 600 miles of pipe line. They changed the map several times to attempt to avoid conflicts but it's impossible to avoid everyone. I don't study in depth every pipeline built in every state so I don't know much about this particular pipe line. I'm sure there are white areas affected and black areas affected. There always are when these large projects are planned. It's inevitable. I don't know if I would support the project or not. I don't live in VA. One thing I'm sure of. This is a project supported by several democrats. They took care to affect as few people as possible without bias. That Northam wore blackface 35 years ago tells us nothing about the project. It's just convenient to claim it to fight the project and it's planned path. You're buying into it to attack Northam. 

    For the community involved, there is zero difference between having a Democratic candidate in charge or having a Republican in charge. They are screwed. They have no reason to put a benign reason to the destruction of their community given the removal of opponents of the plan from the board. People in Virginia are calling for Northam to step down, the author of this post for one Voters are upset cause Northam wasn’t truthful. His Democratic opponent might have been elected Governor, and may be free of “issues”. Northam’s response does not instill confidence. Democrats in the legislature don’t trust him.

    On issue after issue and comment after comment you are obviously wrong. There are more republicans and more whites along the path of the pipeline than democrats. One quick glance at a map of election results by county will tell you that. It's likely that most of those along that path are against the pipeline because of NIMBY. That pipeline is going to be built no matter who is governor. Yet even if the pipeline is their most important issue there are other issues that will affect them. If your zero tolerance policy forces out the democrats and you get a republican governor there will be a significant number of bills that will not pass the governors veto or that will be altered to more reflect republican views to get the republican governor's signature. Some will be happy about that and others unhappy, even those along the path of the pipeline who consider that their most important issue. But the party of the governor in a state like Virginia can affect every person in the US. Virginia is a purple state. The power of the governor has a non trivial effect on national election results and could be enough to throw the state to republicans not just in local elections but in the presidential election.

    Whether one should be forgiven for mistakes made 35 or more years ago is a subjective opinion. After reading your posts for more than a decade it's clear you are the most judgemental and least forgiving person here. Therefore it's a safe bet that no matter what the "sin" or how great the distance in time you will recommend punishment or banishment more often than anyone else here.

    I agree with your last paragraph. And I mention it only because I would just like to clarify that this is always my angle: I always wonder if he really does intend to sound like Cotton Mather hunting sinners, or if he would like to refine his rhetoric and learn not to come off that way and persuade people. Because it's not working, it seems to get the opposite reaction too often.

    Cardwell's opinion here is a perfect example of the difference: it is his opinion and I accept it. I don't feel he is preaching at me. He has learned to communicate his opinion without that. And the ironic thing is: he is active in his church as a Deacon. He must be very very good at it.

    Pointing out new viewpoints like the WaPo editorial is preaching?

    Edit to add:

    I reply to counter your argument. I expect you to disagree. I’m not trying to convince you of anything.

    well to be blunt, to me you usually come off as: I'm here to post blacksplain' for dumb whitey at Dagblog, that I know what most blacks feel and think and you don't and you need to know it and I represent them all and I am gonna push that here until you cry uncle.

    Edit to add: and I believe that it is allowed on this website and in this country. Just trying to express how your modus operandi comes across to this one reader and wondering whether you intend that or would like to refine how you come across to readers like me.

    Comes to mind it is not an usual modus operandi, Lulu does it with peacenik stuff. And one can also see the reaction he gets by doing that, the "where's the outrage?!" looking for dittoheads thing. Not many dittoheads here.

    Cut the crap. I simply disagree with your arguments on many occasions. You bring the drama.

    Really?  “People in Virginia are calling for Northam to step down


    Results by Virginia adults

    Show results by:

    Virginia adults

    An isolated incident



    A sign of broader racial prejudice


    No opinion


    The Washington Post - Schar School poll

    More WAPO:

    I agree with Ocean Kat. People change. Have your opinions about white people changed over the years, or should we go by the assumptions that you drop here?  Were you more bitter, or less in your twenty’s?  Did you ever say things that would prohibit you from running for office now?  

    Mostly, I wonder if you are being honest when you say that blacks would be better off with Republicans in charge. Because that is what we have with trump.  I won’t argue because it is so obvious.

    BTW, I live in Virginia, am against the pipeline, and voted for Tom Periello (not Northam) but I assure you that your claim about the pipeline affecting mainly black communities is utter bullshit.  One of the biggest protesters is Wintergreen Ski Resort, and most of the pipeline work has been chopping trees down in areas that are wooded next to highway 29 South.

    The L. Governor’ accusations seem more troublesome to me.  They are actual crimes, and the accusers seem to be  credible.  I think he will not survive the review of this.  

    Northam and Herring did not commit crimes, and their hideous pranks were long ago. I realize you have chosen not to let go of that, but I have. 

    You're ruining the hysterical fear and paranoia narrative.. wink

    I saw a sarcastic comment elsewhere that sort of jokingly made the point that Northum is the one that may now be cowed some by fear. It suggested he'll probably go round now changing all the Confederate-related monuments to statues of MLK, if not Angela Davis, and preach against racism as his # 1 duty, quoting Malcolm X, etc. (until the next election, that is.)

    They lie when they are ashamed: I did not have sexual relations with that woman....

    Has he really done anything in his political career that would hurt blacks by virtue of their skin color? I don't know, sincerely asking.

    From your perspective, none of this will impact the turnout in November?

    Edit to add:

    Can Fairfax be impeached for allegations made before he took office in Virginia?

    Who exactly would impeach him? They are already happily working with him to do something in order to get re-elected in fall.

    They are going to impeach him over a 35-yr. old yearbook photo that doesn't identify the figures in it? They (a Republican majority) are going to impeach him for a poor initial apology?

    There is a possibility of impeachment of Fairfax (and articles against him have already been drafted by a Dem to be introduced Monday) depending on what comes out of the allegations, but only if that concerns too many female voters and he refused to step down. These are politicians, not hell and damnation preachers. And they won't care what national politicians think, they are state politicians and care about Virginian voters.

    On depressing turnout, it will surely happen if national Dems keep taking the bait of the opposition digging for politically incorrect dirt in Dem candidate pasts. Your party will only be left with a few boring saints running for office after the rest have been slain by noise over litmus tests.

    The national party is not in collapse.

    Stacey Abrams is being praised. Nancy Pelosi’s clap is being used to ridicule Trump and the GOP

    To recap:

    A Republican who wore blackface resigned immediately 

    Northam changed his story and had a disastrous press conference. Yeah, let’s back that guy to the hilt. Fellow medical students are apologizing. The medical school is apologizing. The medical school stopped publishing the yearbook because..... racist pictures. Let’s back Northam while the GOP points out their guy who immediately resigned. We won’t lose Senate or House seats in Virginia if we just stay silent.

    There is no way the Fairfax story was not going to get out. The woman hired a law firm.

    The dumpster fire was set by the Virginia Democratic candidates. Northam knew the pictures existed. Fairfax knew the WaPo had the story. 



    Virginia is a dumpster fire. 

    Northam is underwater in early polling

    Too early to tell te impact of the Fairfax allegation. 

    Perhaps there are some Virginia Democrats who did not wear blackface?

    Two guys wore blackface. That is not in dispute.

    Another is accused of rape. The accuser hired a law firm

    You cannot ignore this stuff.

    In case anyone was askin' his opinion:

    My family has lived in VA since the 1600s. VA would never elect people like Northam, Fairfax, Herring, Warner or Kaine without the votes of federal gov employees in NOVA. They are all an embarrassment to VA & the Founders never intended the Dist of Columbia to sprawl out into VA!

    — Jerry Falwell (@JerryFalwellJr) February 7, 2019

    now here's an outsider with a worthwhile point to make:

    Blackface doctors, blackface legislators, Confederate statutes, historic black district planned destruction, and the Falwell as neighbors. Wow.

    How do black students at Liberty put up with this guy?

    From Charles Blow’s Twitter feed

    Charles M. Blow


    So, asking as a black man, are you saying black people should accept this behavior from the people they vote for because the people they don’t vote for also do it?


    And we live in a democratic republic, so unfortunately or fortunately as is your wont, one does have to pay attention to and work with what the majority thinks on all kinds of issues. (The general idea of the nation was E Pluribus Unum, if that helps.)

    See Slavery and Jim Crow


    see Civil War and Reconstruction. How they went about that is argued about a lot.

    Edit to add: We're still together, though, some argue barely, but we still are, that's a fact.

    I humbly suggest that those interested in changing majority opinion on a cultural issue like this, i.e., "culture wars" wedges that are manipulated by politicians when they need a diversion, need to study how the following was actually accomplished:


    First Falwell opines, now we find that the Republican Senate leader in Virginia edited a VMI yearbook with blackface photos

    He should stay.  

    If we can't make a bad situation good,  think about how to make it less bad. To make so much less bad , that it's good.

    What can he do for us. How did Iago put it? "Thus do   I make my fool my purse" or something like that.

    This is a great opportunity.

    Danny you know him. Call him. Tell him Governor have we got plans for you.

    Revenge is sweet. Until it's cloying. We want to fix things that couldn''t have been

    fixed otherwise.






    Should Megan Kelly been taken off air?

    Edit to add:

    Should we just say nothing to see here for everyone who wears blackface

    Should we just say nothing to see here for everyone who wears blackface

    That question has been answered a dozen times in this and the other thread on this subject. You might disagree with that answer but you can't possible be ignorant or confused about that answer. That you're still feigning ignorance shows that you're not interested in honest dialog but just want to win the debate or that you're pushing some agenda.

    More from the blowhard.

    Edit to add:

    87% of black voters cast ballots for Northam. You expect them to do the tribal thing and keep Northam in office. They have other options. If Northam stays and they see poor blacks being dislocated from a historic district, black voters can stay home. If the district is gone whether Northam or a Republican is in charge, why support Northam?

    I never expect anyone to do anything. But the black 15% of the vote doesn't give you veto power over every decision. Just as centrists don't get veto power over the votes of liberals.

     If the district is gone whether Northam or a Republican is in charge, why support Northam?

    That's another question I've already answered. Repeatedly asking the same question as if it hasn't been answered multiple times before is one of several obfuscation tactics you use to avoid honest dialog. Either that or your reading comprehension is so low you would never have graduated high school.

    My reading comprehension is fine. I’m pointing out to you that telling black voters that voting for the “lesser of two evils” is not a good way of getting people out to the polls. Democrats can’t win without the black vote. to capture the Senate is going to require turnout. Northam has tainted the voting pool. You can’t win without the 15%. Being dismissive of the concerns about blackface is not a winning strategy.

    Then explain why you keep asking the same question that has already been answered multiple times. Are you too lazy to bother to read the comments? Is it an obfuscation tactic to avoid honest dialog?

    Democrats can't win without the votes of those who disagree with you. Being dismissive of their concerns is not a winning strategy. In any decisive issue one side might lose. If more than 15% think Northam's apology is sufficient for a 35 year old mistake isn't forgiveness the least damaging path forward?

    There aren’t enough white Democratic votes in the state.

    More from the stupid piece of shit.

    There aren't enough black democratic votes in the state.

    There were enough for Northam to win

    Northam got 42% of the White vote to Gillespie’s 57%

    Northam got 87% of the black vote to Gillespie’s 12%

    Northam won 54-45%


    It may be that Virginia Democrats are willing to throw both Northam and Fairfax overboard and turn the reigns over to Herring.


    Edit to add:

    Justin Fairfax is accusing Richmond VA Mayor Levar Stoney of leaking the information about the alleged sexual assault. Dr Tyson, the accuser, told Democratic US House remember Bobby Scott about the assault in December 2017. Scott offered to be a character witness for Dr Tyson in the allegations she made to the Washington Post . Scott took no other action.


    We should  fully criticize things that should be criticized . Unless it's  against our own interests. And then criticize it as far as it is useful.

    For every one of life's problems there's usually a well known solution. That is simple . available, and satisfying  .And wrong.

     My guide is "What would Obama do?"



    Oh God, we fight the battles it behooves us. "There's something wong on the internet, I have to fix it"

    Northam has been exposed as wearing blackface. Some voters feel betrayed. There are Virginia elections in November. Why wouldn’t these voters just sit at home instead of voting in a party that does not take into account the betrayal they feel about Northam. Democrats risk losing seats.

    Other voters don't agree with you. They see PC culture run amok with this punishment of a good democrat over a mistake 35 years ago. A mistake apologized for. Why wouldn't these voters sit at home instead of voting in a party that does not take into account how they feel? What makes your threat to sit home to get your way more valid than any other group's threat to sit home to get their way?

    More from the blowhard. Northam’s poll numbers crashed after the blackface photos.

    It is hard to see Democrats gaining enthusiasm in the setting of the blackface scandal. Blackface is not a big issue for you. You are not all voters. Blackface is a major issue for others.

    More from the blowhard

    fuck you you stupid piece of shit.

    You are not all voters either. 

    As I posted above

    There were enough black votes for Northam to win

    Northam got 42% of the White vote to Gillespie’s 57%

    Northam got 87% of the black vote to Gillespie’s 12%

    Northam won 54-45%


    No need for profanity 

    You started this name calling. I ignored it the first time and you repeated it. You started name calling because you're a stupid piece of shit. So fuck you.

    87% of about 19% of population is numerically less than 42% of 70% of the population. But you're too fucking stupid to understand simple math.

    The 87% provided the margin of victory.

    The 42% provided the majority of the votes. It provided the bulk of the victory.


    He would have lost without the 87%.

    Which is bigger 42% or 54%.

    Edit to add:

    If Northam deflates black turnout, some Democrats may lose their elections.

    He would have lost without the 42%. Without the 42% his loss would have been larger than without the 87%. This really is simple mathematics. A large percentage of a small subset is often numerically smaller than a small percentage of a large subset. Candidates win or lose on the raw number of votes they receive.

    Edit to add

    If forcing Northam to resign deflates the white turnout some democrats may lose. Since the white vote is a larger number of votes a smaller percentage drop in white turnout will result in a larger number of votes lost than a similar percentage drop in black turnout.

    As I noted Northam’s support collapsed. He may drag Democrats down if he remains in office. Given his low approval, it may be best to force his resignation.

    From your link:

    Among Democrats in Virginia, the poll found that Northam has the approval of 50 percent of respondents — down from 70 percent in the last poll. Meanwhile, 25 percent of Democratic respondents disapprove, up from 7 percent in the previous poll. 

    Given Northam's total disapproval among democrats is only 25% it may be best to accept his apology and forgive him for a mistake made 35 years ago. 

    So you want to take that mat to the November elections?

    Also note the Cratering among Independents .

    You say "low approval", OK responds "disapproval's only 25%", you keep playing "may", now it's worried about "the independents". Except if they resign the Republicans take over anyway. So again, is that a better outcome for stupid stuff done 35 years ago? Today Kavanaugh voted against abortion, as predicted. We know the damage that will come. We get it, blackface is offensive. But the GOP's war on people is more offensive.

    There are elections in November. Having the Governor known for blackface in office may keep voters at home despite the negatives associated with the GOP.

    The exact point is that blackface is bad. You seem to think that somehow magically people are going to forgive the Governor and not to decide to sit out 2019 because both political parties are worthless.Dismissing the blackface issue is not an option. Northam is a complete failure at addressing the issue of blackface. He is worthless. He can do harm to the Democrats because.....blackface. He has lost the trust of a significant segment of voters. He is doing nothing to change minds.

    Edit to add:

    Someone suggested calling the Governor and asking him to do great things. The Governor needs to get off his sorry behind, face the public, kiss behinds and babies. Grovel. He is a detriment to the party.

    When there are two sides on a divisive issue you think your side is the only one that matters. You think if your side loses it will cost the democrats votes but refuse to consider if the other side loses it will also cost the democrats votes. You think there are more people who believe in zero tolerance for mistakes made 35 years ago and there should no forgiveness or acceptance of an apology. I think there are more people who made mistakes in their youth, who have changed and think their apology should be accepted.

    Your own link shows that Northam's approval rating is still double his disapproval rating which clearly indicates that more people believe in forgiveness for a mistake made 35 years ago than believe in zero tolerance and no acceptance of an apology. 

    See below

    "You seem to think that somehow magically people are going to forgive the Governor" - no, I think *most* black people aren't stupid, and will support a guy who wore blackface 35 years ago vs. people who are active members/supporters of the KKK today. Life is full of choices like these, and they ain't that tuff. Even Jesus probably muttered a few ad hominems he regretted, and that knocking over the Temple market bit, way out of control - probably has a police record for that. (BTW, when they picked up Jesus in Gethsemane, they had a Roman cohort, i.e. 600 men - obviously those early disciples posed more of a threat than we give them credit for, what with Peter lopping off one's ear an all - Christ probably should've resigned, let someone less controversial lead)

    Reading “Roots” is hilarious. He is flailing.

    He was about to moonwalk at the press conference 

    it is his 2019 behavior that sinks him

    Jesus and the Blessed Virgin Mary having a stroll  came upon  a crowd of men , rocks in hand,  preparing for the ever- popular stoning of a woman  caught in adultery. 

    Intervening He said 

    Let the one   without sin  throw the  first stone.

    A rock flew past Him.

    Jesus :

    " Mom!"

    See below

    But geez Flav, that's Christianity, we are not dealing with that here, what does it have to do with like Savonarola or Calvinism or burning witches? cheeky

    PP, Interesting that Terry Mattingly, of "On Religion" column fame, suggests here yesterday that you might not be going far enough by simply bringing up the abortion thing.

    Your 2nd URL was mistakenly a repeat of the 1st, but perhaps this is germane:

     Terry Mattingly Retweeted

    God Agrees To Spare Virginia If Just 10 Democrats Who Never Wore Blackface Can Be Found … via @TheBabylonBee

    Now I am confused because rmrd told me more than once that Independents are racist, in that they might vote for GOP sometimes.

    Nice try in diverting from the mess Northam created. Northam can just hide in his office and voters will magically show up to support Democrats in November. 

    Response to ocean-Kat above

    Northam’s apology was pathetic. If you think the numbers bode well for him. You need a math lesson.

    While many here don’t think blackface is a big deal and that the apology should  settle the issue should think about the fact that black patients are wondering if they can trust their doctors. Blacks are wondering if their colleagues wore blackface.Virginia has become a racial laughingstock 

    Louis Farrakhan is doing a happy dance saying “I told you so”.


    Don't be ridiculous. Farrakhan won't say, "I told you so." First he'll blame it all on the Jews because “The Jews have control over those agencies of government.  When you want something in this world, the Jew holds the door.” As he's often said, "the Satanic Jews control everything and mostly everybody” and, "Satanic Jews have infected the whole world with poison and deceit." It's just like how 9/11 was a false flag operation by the Jews, "Osama Bin Laden didn’t destroy the Twin Towers. That was a false-flag operation of the satanic Jews... there were many Israelis and Zionist Jews in key roles in the 9/11 attacks” 

    Then a significant number of black and black leaders will give him a pass because he runs schools madrassas for poor blacks and gives food to poor blacks. That zero tolerance that's for Northam just isn't part of the equation when it comes to Farrakhan.

    That wasn't 35 years ago and Farrakhan never apologized for any of it. So tell me again how Northam's apology wasn't good enough for blacks, many that support Farrakhan, to forgive a mistake made 35 years ago.

    Northam is reading “Roots” and “The Case for Reparations”. He is now going to focus on race.

    Edit to add:

    Would love to be with Trevor Noah and his writers or Dave Chappell right now.


    ...and he’s a Democrat

    — Katherine Faulders (@KFaulders) February 8, 2019

    (I found story via retweet by Maggie Haberman of NYTimes.)

    Of course the ...............(s) (choose a victim.)

    Blacks, Jews ,the Irish, Muslims, South Africans, the Chinese 

    suffered hideously during (choose the category )

    Slavery, the Holocaust,the Potato Famine, Apartheid,the Japanese invasion.

    And a victim in each of these categories most likely thinks that no one else had it worse. Or more likely doesn't think

    about the others at all.

    But if they did for the most part they wouldn't care.

    Those sufferers  care deeply about the catastrophe that  happened  to them individually. And care to varying extent about their  fellow members. But far less about the suffering of anyone else.

    So whatever they say here, rmr is never going to care (ie be offended himself ) by Farrakhan as will be Ocean-kat. 

    As Tom Lehrer  noted

    When the rockets go up

    Who knows where they come down

    It's not my department

    Said Werner Von Braun


    He got it right









    What you say may be true about some people or it even may be true about most people but it's not true about me.

    As the caretaker of a ghost town there's an interesting thing that happens to me quite often. I know everything about this ghost town. Visitors ask me question after question and I know all the answers.....until they ask about a famous ghost town in California or New Mexico or even about a historical site two miles down the road. I always tell them what I'll say now. I don't know or care about history before I was born. It's not like I'm totally uninterested. I know the broad strokes of the history of the world. The basic story of what happened. That's all I care about. I don't have time or interest to learn more.

    What I care about is what's happening now or has happened recently enough in the past to have a real effect on what's happening now. I care about now so I can think about what I can do to move us forward into a better future. I don't feel like I have any connection to any group so I don't feel any personal connection to the suffering of any group. And since none of it is about my tribe I hold evey one and every group to the same standard.

    I'll take your word for it of  course. If only it were true of everyone.

    Quite an inspiring ethos you have there. If I were forced to guess I would guess you were from the New World, American or maybe Canadian or Australian. You don't care about the old country, you're looking for a new one. The future is your concern, not the past. And the ghost towns are only interesting for lessons about what not to do.  You like sizing up futile tribal situations of the entrenched wherever you go and are quick to take advantage of them. You pick up with tribes and drop them as quickly as a new set of clothes when they are no longer of use.  Go west, young man. Always looking for a New Frontier, a Great Society. A Progressive, looking for progress. Because the ancestors were stinkers, forget genealogy (Mrs. Astor's list, The Mayflower, Debrett's Peerage, Daughters of the American Revolution or Confederacy as the case may be, they are all damned.)

    Thanks arta, on a site started by a person who wrote a history book I didn't expect to inspire. I expected to be attacked. Flavius's comment was a disappointment. But yes, I don't care about the historical abuses of the past like, for example Jefferson having sex with his 13 year old slave girl. The outrages of today are sufficient for me and really, I don't care about many of them. But you're here to get outraged about the millennia of sins for us all. Which side are you on, Hatfield or McCoy?

    I really don't find anything interesting about the one ghost town I know about. I only took the job because I like living alone way out in the wilderness. I learned the history only to answer questions from visitors but I can't think of any lessons I learned from the history of the town. I guess I've just not that deep to see the message beyond the mere facts. I don't think I've ever taken advantage of any tribal group. I've never been able to figure out how to fit in with any group no matter how large or small.  As for those groups you listed, or most any group, I've never really thought about them enough to care enough to damn them.

    dupe deleted

    Ha! Werner was always a bit of a tight-ass. Word was that he ordered his underlings to make sure the rockets on his Olds 98 hubcaps always lined up. (Hard to believe a rocket scientist would've missed the impossibility of that task, but stranger things have happened)

    Looks like Fairfax is gonna be toast.

    To Flavius from above

    Northam wore blackface. Black voters were unaware of this. They may have voted for his Democratic opponent if they had known.

    He initially said that he was in the photo, but later said he was not. That was in 2019.

    He said that he wore blackface portraying Michael Jackson. He was about to moonwalk before his wife stopped him. That was in 2019.

    He is reading “Roots”;and “The Case for Reparations”. This is in 2019. Do you find his action insulting and condescending? Do you think that he is playing black voters for fools?

    BTW, I’m really enjoying watching people who whine about the evils of tribalism argue that black voters should be tribal and support Democrats.

    No, voters should be self-interested and vote for whoever helps them with the causes and issues they find important. I'd assume black education and incarceration and police abuse and economic parity and other issues are much more important than which Halloween costumes you wear, but who am I, just some white dumbfuck.

    Northam already screwed up in respdingto the abortion bill. He is pandering now. The Republicans have the advantage in the legislature.

    From the reporter who works the Virginia Politics beat at the Richmond Times Dispatch:

    And I now see the reason Moomaw is tweeting at the Times' Jonathan Martin. Because he's doing a ton on work reporting on this, there is a ton of good info. on this very long twitter thread of Martin's,  articles and lots of developing bits of info. as to what's actually going on in VA. Just click anywhere on the tweet below and it will take you to the thread:

    Northam starting to emerge a little....

    Boyd is a farmer in Southside Va, who has been a leader in the black ag community >

    — Jonathan Martin (@jmartNYT) February 8, 2019


    # 2 most read story at Politico right now and contra the headline, I do not see it as spinning in any direction, it is just trying to lay out what a bevy of different political analysts and experts are thinking about:

    GOP sees scandals as chance to halt bluing of Virginia

    The meltdown of state Democratic leadership has Republicans eyeing gains in the statehouse and possibly U.S. House delegation.

    By Maggie Severns and Anita Kumar, 02/09/2019 06:37 AM EST


    [....] "Candidate recruitment for the GOP is being made a lot easier thanks to the events of the last two weeks,” said John March, a spokesman for the Republican Party of Virginia, referring to the scandals and Northam’s controversial comments about late-term abortions.

    Some Democrats dispute the consequences, saying the focus will quickly turn back to Trump and national politics.

    “Six months from now, everything is going to be in the rearview mirror and the focus on D.C.,” state Sen. Scott Surovell said.

    Other Democrats lamented they had only hurt themselves by acting so quickly on Northam, who said he was in his yearbook photo then reversed course, but did admit to donning blackface on another occasion.

    “I’m sure there is some regret and remorse at what happened,” said Ward Armstrong, a longtime Democratic legislator who served as House minority leader [....]


    One key number is that Northam has higher support for staying in office among African-American residents than among white resident – 58% to 37% say he should remain in office.

    Both "must reads" for anyone following the story; thank you.

    Rest of paragraph of your quote from Josh Marshall important too:

     All told, those are numbers that must greatly hearten Northam and his political advisors. To a degree, that’s probably as much a measure of the partisan breakdown as the racial once since the state’s African-American population is overwhelmingly Democratic. Overall, 40% of Democrats say he should step down while 57% say he should not. Again, for an elected Democrat, those are not numbers that make you feel like you have no choice but to resign.

    And here's the graph from the WaPo article:

    The numbers for African Americans came as a total shock to me. Not just the result but the size of the spread

    Wut? I thought all African-Americans agreed on this.

    "It takes a lot of planning to turn up a coincidence like this" - think about your total interests, not a particular hot button item or character. All of Reconstruction was about getting played, having those newly codified freedoms steadily chipped away until the law and Constitution were largely irrelevant. These guys, their descendants in spirit if not genetic, are still at it.

    The polling of African-American voters is surprising. We’ll see if they turn up in November.

    [Edited to change policing to polling]

    Edit to add:

    The sense of betrayal will manifest in some form

    “We can’t just throw the whole ticket away at this point,” said Bowen. “But we have to understand that blackface is a blatant form of disrespect. If an elected official isn’t aware of that, what else are they not aware of? What else do you feel like is not a big deal? How are you able to effectively be a voice for every person?”

    Here is the great Ralph Northam on CBS with Gayle King


    Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, who is refusing to resign in the wake of revelations he wore blackface in medical school, drew scorn on social media Sunday for referring to the first Africans brought to his state as “indentured servants.”

    His comment in an interview with CBS’s Gayle King brought a correction of sorts.

    “Also known as slavery,” King pointed out.

    While some of the 20 Africans who arrived in Jamestown in 1619 may have eventually been able to win their freedom, their journey to America was forced and historians consider it root of slavery in the United States.

    Northam’s choice of words, while he was detailing the racial progress Virginia has made in the last 400 years, had viewers rolling their eyes. 

    He said, he had the nerve to say... Hold on... *hands on hip, deep breath, looks at ceiling* Sorry, needed a sec. He said “the first indentured servants from Africa.” With a straight face. @GayleKing basically said no straight face and no blackface today, sir! Having none of it!

    — Ava DuVernay (@ava) February 10, 2019

    There is absolutely no one who is claiming Northam is great. That's a strawman and a lie. When you start out with such a ridiculous and stupid statement it's difficult to look beyond it to consider the rest of the post. It's indicative that you are not interested in honest dialog. This is the favorite tactic of republicans to constantly mislabel and misdefine democratic positions on every issue. This is the main problem I have with Ben Shapiro who starts every discussion with a lie about democrats then makes his arguments against the lie he created. It's not an honest debate on the issues.

    I was thinking of making the same point--who said he was great? I haven't seen a single tweet ever that lauded him as great--but then I chickened out. Because the thing about the straw man tactic is that it just often strikes me as sad. It looks to me like working oneself into a frenzy and frightening oneself by creating extra evil bogeymen rather than real, faulty human beings. It's the fear thing that Trump also uses, very much so. Fighting fear with fear - doesn't make sense to me. I guess some think it is the only way to rile passions to the state of political action, the "where's the outrage?!" technique.

    I find the calm, rational choices of many of the Virginian respondents in the WaPo article very encouraging. They are thinking rationally, whether for or against resignation.

    I recently watched a Shapiro video where he claimed millennials were coddled in college and having trouble in the real world. His first line was, paraphrasing, 'You have all these millennials majoring in lesbian folk dance and they think with that degree they're going to get 6 figure salaries after college'

    It's such nonsense. Nobody is getting a degree in lesbian folk dance and those majoring in the arts know how hard it will be to make money as an artist or a musician. Worse it's deliberately provocative, designed to attack our values toward LGBT. It may be that millennials aren't challenged as much as students were in the past and that might be a problem. But the framing is designed to avoid a rational fact based discussion and to provoke an emotional fight.

    Sometimes I think I'll try to point out how rmrd's comments are designed to avoid or destroy calm rational discussion. I know it's likely futile, you've tried often without success. But maybe it's better than ignoring him and imo obviously better than getting into defending against his strawman arguments.

    A poster to remake?

    Northam stays in place. That means that when it comes to Fairfax, we await investigations of years ago allegations. Will there be definitive evidence that Fairfax committed rape or will we just have accusations? 

    The Virginia Executive Committee is asking for Fairfax to get his due process which is his Constitutional right. At the end of the day because Northam remains, Fairfax may stay and be the Democratic version of Justin Fairfax.

    It is hard to see how the Democratic Party in Virginia comes out looking good after this.


    FFS, he's just repeating what fucking *PBS* tells as basic Virginia history:

    And while these first indentured black slaves were transferred by force to the US, they were conquests of war, not racial targets (conquered by other black tribes and sold as slaves - a common enough occurrence):

    Of course this was just the Colonies - elsewhere like Brazil or Caribbean, they were slaves. Massachusetts was the first to institute in the Colonies - Virginia about 20 years later.

    So hey, maybe as OceanKat suggests, I should lose my position on the masthead for repeating offensive history - people should know when to keep their mouths shut when it offends the PC expectations of the day to tell what happened in former times.


    Hey, thanks for the PBS link! And don't I know it about trying to introduce historical accuracy into past discussions of slavery and Jefferson and the founders here a couple years back. This paragraph encapsulates what I was trying to get at. Pre-Enlightenment people definitely did not think at all like us, it was a whole different perception of the world:

    Historically, the English only enslaved non-Christians, and not, in particular, Africans. And the status of slave (Europeans had African slaves prior to the colonization of the Americas) was not one that was life-long. A slave could become free by converting to Christianity. The first Virginia colonists did not even think of themselves as "white" or use that word to describe themselves. They saw themselves as Christians or Englishmen, or in terms of their social class. They were nobility, gentry, artisans, or servants.

    And Enlightenment people were only gradually being "woke" from that still basically medieval world where witches and heretics were hunted and burned.

    That they were being "woke" by reading and discovering ancient secular Latin and Greek texts, rather than just what the Christian texts told them, that was a miracle in itself, that they were challenging a rigid system was around for millennia. To even think in democratic terms for the landowning class alone was an incredible step in itself.

    Yes, they went on to rationalize chattel slavery, a sinful decision, and there were enough abolitionists.around to challenge their thinking. That's where the evil is, their brains couldn't handle everything changed at once. Greeks and Romans had slaves, after all. And then the slave states developed an economy reliant on slavery, so all the more reason to rationalize it.

    Actually I think a lot of abolitionists rationalized basically the same way, that the "heathen" Africans deserved being treated like human beings because they had shown they were capable of conversion.

    Crusader mentality had not at all disappeared, it could be violent or it could be crusading missionaries. Christians were the superior men and the rest of humanity like a different species. If the slave trade had found it easier to get bodies from China or Arab lands instead of Africa, they would have. This is simplifying it but the tribe vs. tribe nature of many African lands made it easier for them to divide and conquer, there were willing accomplices there. No unified kingdom to fight.

    Othello was a Moor and a powerful one. An earlier Shakespeare work can probably be accepted as an indication of how Jews were treated -worse than Moors for sure-  none of them got  to marry their  luscious  Disdemona and  get tricked by Iago- not worth his time.

    Slavery  of course, being an everyday matter in the "civilized world" , to a greater or lesser extent .

    Tawney argued Jews , ironically , benefited economically from being forced to live outside the city gates (a medieval  intramural activity ) because they could trade with all comers free of the dead hand of the Church's natural law promulgations. Unless they had their own luscious daughter with whatever consequences that entailed.


    There is ongoing research into black history Things accepted as true are getting a second look. It is not clear how many of the 20 “indentured servants” served a short time and how many were slaves.

    Though the history of blacks in Virginia begins in 1619, the transition of status from indentured servant to lifelong slave was a gradual process. Some historians believe that some of the first blacks who arrived in Virginia were already slaves, while others say they were taken into the colony as indentured servants. Historians generally believe slavery in the English colonies in North America did not begin as an institution until the 1660s

    Cited In Wiki

    Edit to  add:

    The website to the PBS show “Africans in America” noted the lack of clarity of the status of the 1619 arrival 

    It is late summer. Out of a violent storm appears a Dutch ship. The ship's cargo hold is empty except for twenty or so Africans whom the captain and his crew have recently robbed from a Spanish ship. The captain exchanges the Africans for food, then sets sail. 

    It's not clear if the Africans are considered slaves or indentured servants. (An indentured servant would be required to work a set amount of time, then granted freedom.) Records of 1623 and 1624 list them as servants, and indeed later records show increasing numbers of free blacks, some of whom were assigned land. On the other hand, records from gatherings do not indicate the marital status of the Africans (Mr., Miss, etc.) and, unlike white servants, no year is associated with the names -- information vital in determining the end of a servant's term of bondage. Most likely some Africans were slaves and some were servants. At any rate, the status of people in bondage was very confusing, even to those who were living at the time. 

    Whatever the status of these first Africans to arrive at Jamestown, it is clear that by 1640, at least one African had been declared a slave. This African was ordered by the court "to serve his said master or his assigns for the time of his natural life here or elsewhere." 

    The grounds for this harsh sentence presumabley lay in the fact that he was non-Christian rather than in the fact that he was physically dark. But religious beliefs could change, while skin color could not. Within a generation race, not religion, was being made the defining characteristic of enslaved Virginians, The terrible transformation to racial slavery was underway




    Gleeful about the success of the GOP op:

    African Americans are very angry at the double standard on full display in Virginia!

    — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 10, 2019

    and gosh, why does that speaking for all Afro-Americans as a single unified tribe sound familiar?

    The argument made by many was for black voters in Virginia to be tribal and stick with Northam.

    Well whoever was arguing that (link?), it didn't work: 58% told the pollster he should not step down, 37% said he should step down, and 5% had no opinion. Like I said, you and Trump talk the same: that they all have the same opinion. Making for a generalization, a stereotype, that supports tribal judgment of people.

    Legislative leaders reach bipartisan deal with Northam to return $976 million to taxpayers

    By Michael Martz @ Richmond Times-Dispatch, Feb. 8

    Virginia legislative leaders have reached an agreement, endorsed by Gov. Ralph Northam, that would return $976 million to taxpayers during this biennium and would allow the state to begin processing more than a half-million tax returns that already have been filed for this season.

    The agreement adopts the plan the Senate approved last week to give $420 million in refunds next fall to compensate taxpayers for higher state taxes they will pay on 2018 income as an unintended consequence of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that President Donald Trump signed more than a year ago.

    Individual taxpayers would receive $110 and married couples $220 in October, the month before elections for all 140 seats in the General Assembly’s two narrowly divided chambers.

    Senate and House leaders promised to expedite the new bill’s passage on Monday so it can go to the governor to sign within seven days.

    The plan also would raise the standard deduction by 50 percent — to $4,500 for individuals and $9,000 for couples — the first increase since 2005. It would protect Virginia taxpayers from some provisions of the new federal tax law by not capping the deduction of local property taxes on itemized returns, shielding income from corporate overseas investments, and allowing businesses to deduct a portion of the interest that they can’t claim on their federal returns [....].

    And no more gaffes on race, as he'll be scripted by a pro to use politically correct language from now on, no longer sounding like an average person with faults:

    Northam says he can lead Virginia in racial reconciliation from the governor's office

    By Patrick Wilson @ Richmond Times Dispatch, Feb. 9

    Gov. Ralph Northam, who has resisted a week of persistent calls for his resignation over a scandal that started with a racist yearbook photo, said Saturday that he wants to lead the state toward racial healing from the governor’s office.

    “I have a lot more to learn. ... The more I know, the more I can do,” Northam told a Washington Post reporter in an interview on Saturday. “I want to heal that pain, and I want to make sure that all Virginians have equal opportunity ... and I think I’m the person that can do that for Virginia.”

    Northam, who has hired a crisis communications consultant to help him navigate the scandal, declined numerous requests for an interview this week with the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

    Northam made the Post agree not to release audio or a transcript of his interview with them as a condition of granting it, and he limited the interview to 30 minutes, the Post reported [....]

    And a reminder that Fairfax has hired Kavanaugh's law firm and his accuser has hired Christine Blasey Ford's, and he has asked for an FBI investigation.

    Republicans are viewing the bill as a victory

    This morning Democratic Governor Ralph Northam and Republicans in the state legislature announced they had worked out a deal on tax cuts. In addition to raising the deduction by 50 percent, to $4,500 for individuals and $9,000 for couples, the deal also provides individual taxpayers a rebate $110 and married couples a rebate of $220… to be delivered in October. That’s one month before every incumbent state legislator seeks reelection.

    The October tax rebate will help the GOP incumbents in this November’s state legislative elections, while GOP challengers will be running ads “Senator/Representative-so-and-so opposed the tax rebate you’re now receiving.”

    It’s less of a deal than a significant surrender; as the Richmond Times-Dispatch reports, “the compromise does not include any of the spending that Northam proposed in the budget plan he introduced in December.”

    Why did Northam agree to the deal? Watching almost every member of his party in the state call for his resignation may have made him less motivated to fight for their priorities – particularly when his former allies take a less-adamant stance regarding scandals involving the lieutenant governor and state attorney general. Northam is reportedly toying with the idea of leaving the Democratic Party and governing as an independent. For Virginia Republicans, Northam may be transforming into the best of both worlds for them – a governor so damaged, he feels pressure to sign their priorities into law, but who is also simultaneously an albatross to Democrats

    This goes along with a statement in the Times-Dispatch article

    In the House, Democrats were upset about being denied credit for a solution that more closely resembles legislation Del. Vivian Watts, D-Fairfax, introduced than the tax policy bill sponsored by Del. Tim Hugo, R-Fairfax, which House Republicans passed on a party-line vote on Monday.

    Watts, the ranking Democrat on the House Finance Committee, introduced legislation that also included a 50 percent increase in the standard deduction, but it was sent to the Rules Committee, headed by House Speaker Kirk Cox, R-Colonial Heights, where it died without a hearing.

    Hugo’s bill, championed by Cox and other House Republican leaders, “was not giving back money to the people hit hardest by the Trump tax plan,” she said Friday.

    Watts said she is working with Norment and other legislative leaders to amend the compromise to retain a cap on total deductions of more than $313,000 that the federal tax law removes for the wealthiest taxpayers. Keeping the cap would save Virginia about $80 million a year, she said.



    Republicans weakened him by causing the politically correct to have an outrage fest against him. People with your inclinations are the intended accomplices. You will continue to be played like this through 2020. It's a favored technique of the Russian trolls as well.

    Your post about the tax refund seemed to suggest that it was a good thing. Are you now saying that it is a bad thing?

    Northam stays in office. Fairfax impeachment put on hold., Northam benefits from the Fairfax accusations. Fairfax benefits because Northam stays in place. Fairfax may be able to ride this out.

    The Furor in Virginia Has Quieted

    Public opinion might help the state’s embattled Democratic leaders survive.

    By ANDREW KRAGIE @, FEB 18, 2019

    Northam ‘s redemption tour begins on Thursday. We will see the response.

    The last sentence of the Atlantic article says it all

    If the GOP holds the legislature this year, it may have the state’s Democratic leaders to thank.

    In news that you can’t make up, the First Lady of Virginia handed out cotton samples to black school children.

    A Virginia state employee has complained that her eighth-grade daughter was upset during a tour of the historic governor’s residence when first lady Pam Northam handed raw cotton to her and another African American child and asked them to imagine being enslaved and having to pick the crop.

    “The Governor and Mrs. Northam have asked the residents of the Commonwealth to forgive them for their racially insensitive past actions,” Leah Dozier Walker, who oversees the Office of Equity and Community Engagement at the state Education Department, wrote Feb. 25 to lawmakers and the office of Gov. Ralph Northam (D).

    “But the actions of Mrs. Northam, just last week, do not lead me to believe that this Governor’s office has taken seriously the harm and hurt they have caused African Americans in Virginia or that they are deserving of our forgiveness,” she wrote.

    Northam’s office and one other parent of a child who was present said the first lady did not single out the African American students and simply handed out the cotton to a group. But the incident highlights the scrutiny and doubt that envelop the governor as he tries to push past racist incidents from his past and ignore continued calls for his resignation. His first attempt at a “reconciliation tour” failed last week when the student government at Virginia Union University asked him not to attend a civil rights commemoration there.




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