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Northam damaging damage control: Darcy cartoon

February 5, 2019 GMT

Northam damaging damage control: Darcy cartoon

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Virginia is for lovers and Democrat Governors who moonwalk themselves into a deep hole addressing racist photos on their yearbook page.

During his Saturday press conference, Governor Ralph Northam did not resign over a photo on his yearbook page showing a man in blackface standing next to someone in a KKK hood and robes.

Instead, Northam was resigned to trying to rehabilitate his reputation by changing his story on the racist photo, giving advice on applying blackface shoe polish, and being on the verge of demonstrating his moonwalking abilities.

A day after Northam had acknowledge being one of the two people in the photo, Northam announced  he did not believe he was in the photo and suggested it was put on his page by mistake.

How did Northam know shoe polish was hard to remove?

Northam’s press conference was a trainwreck.  The most damaging and incriminating part of it was when he described dressing as Michael Jackson in blackface, the same year of the yearbook photo, and giving advice on applying shoe polish.

Northam tried to explain that he didn’t believe he was in the photo because he didn’t remember it and had remembered being in blackface for a Michael Jackson contest.

“My belief that I did not wear that costume or attend that party stems in part from my clear memory of others mistakes that I made in the same period of my life.  That same year, I did participate in a dance contest in San Antonio in which I darkened my face as part of a Michael Jackson costume.

I had the shoes, I had the glove and I used just a little bit of shoe polish to put under, or on my cheeks.  The reason I used a very little bit is because, I don’t know if anybody ever tried that, but you cannot get shoe polish off.”  

How did Northam know “you cannot get shoe polish off”?    Maybe because earlier that year he covered his face with it posing with the person in the KKK robes?   Or was he in the KKK robes and his friend in blackface told him how hard it was to remove?

Northam went on to say that he won the moonwalking contest and was about to demonstrate his winning moves when his wife stopped him.  

Another reason Northam should resign is that his judgement is so bad he needed his wife to tell him it’s inappropriate to moonwalk during a damage control press conference over a racist blackface/KKK photo.

Yearbook staffer: photos submitted in sealed envelopes with student’s name

Northam’s suggestion that the photo was put on his page by mistake is being refuted by a yearbook staffer.

William Elwood, a yearbook staff page designer told Virginia ABC affiliate WHSV that each student submitted the photos they wanted to appear on their own page.

“They chose their own pictures, they were submitted in a sealed envelope with their name on them, and the only time that envelope was opened was when the layout  was done on their page.

“In my personal knowledge and the people I knew that were working on the staff, we went through great pains to make sure that there was not a mix up.  To my knowledge nobody complained that their picture ended up on a different page.

“My understanding is that on another page there was another group of students that had dressed up like the Supremes and were in blackface and it was in the yearbook.  So I don’t think that anybody thought of that as a significant problem back then,” said Elwood.

“Back then” was 1984, not 1864 or 1964.  Jesse Jackson was running for president.  Michael Jackson was on top of the music charts, not Al Jolson in blackface.   

Northam and his classmates were not teenagers in 1984.  He was a 25 year-old medical student.

Even worse than the blackface, was dressing in a KKK robes.   The KKK is a terrorist organization that has lynched African-Americans, murdered white civil rights workers, bombed churches, terrorizing Americans for generations.

Eastern Virginia Medical College is expected to hold a press conference this afternoon to address the controversy over the yearbook photos.   Provost Richard Homan hired a law firm to investigate how such a racist picture got published.  He established a community advisory group to look at the EVM campus culture.

Northam has resisted the bipartisan chorus of calls for him to resign.  He has called on his Cabinet and advisors to give him time and space to rehabilitate his image because he fears if he resigns he’ll be known as a ‘racist for life.’

In his response to the controversy, Northam has demonstrated he doesn’t have the judgement, credibility and support to effectively continue to serve as Governor or in any elected office.   

Out of office he’ll still have an opportunity to take actions to help ensure he won’t be known as a “racist for life.”

As a one-time  moonwalk contest winner, Governor Northam should heed the advice of one of Michael Jackson’s big hits and “just beat it, beat it...”