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Social Justice Discussions For The 21st Century

Is Blackface Some Kind Of Rite Of Passage In Virginia?

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      The political, racial, sexual, social chaos in the Commonwealth of Virginia just got even worse.

      First it was Democrat Governor Ralph Northam admitting, then (sort of) denying he was one of the two people in his 1984 medical school yearbook, one in blackface, the other in KKK robes. Then he offered his Michael Jackson alternative, but was dissuaded by his wife from demonstrating the "moonwalk". And six days later, he is still refusing calls to resign.

      Then it was black Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax being accused by black college professor Vanessa Tyson, of a 2004 sexual assault, whose account former prosecutor-now presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), also black, found "credible" and worthy of investigation, raising awkward questions whether Dem's would offer the same full-throated support to Tyson as they did to the Brett Kavanaugh accuser, white college professor Christine Blasey Ford?

      Then it was Virginia's Attorney General, Democrat Mark Herring, who volunteered that he once also wore blackface when he dressed up as a rapper for a party decades ago.

      Now we learn that Virginia's Republican Senate majority leader, Tommy Norment, who had obtained his position by a flip of a coin, served as editor of the Virginia Military Institute’s 1968 yearbook that contained numerous blackface images as well as racial and ethnic slurs.


      VIRGINIA MILITARY ACADEMY YEARBOOK 1968

      All of this would seem to beg the question is blackface and racism some kind of 'rite of passage' for young men in Virginia?

      RVC 2-7-2019


      Virginia Republican edited

      yearbook with racist images

      AP Photo/Steve Helber

      Virginia State Sen. Tommy Norment (left) speaks with then-Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam at the Capitol in Richmond in 2014.

      Norment was the managing editor of Virginia Military Institute's 1968 yearbook, which featured racist images.

      By

      POLITICO

      02/07/2019

      A Republican Virginia state senator oversaw a yearbook at the Virginia Military Institute that included racist images and slurs, adding him to the list of scandal-plagued Virginia politicians that has thrust the normally decorous state capital Richmond into a state of tumult.

      State Sen. Tommy Norment, a Republican who represents much of the area north of Newport News, Virginia, served as managing editor of the 1968 yearbook, which featured images of blackface and Confederate battle flags, and referred to Asian-American and African-American students with racist slurs, including the n-word.

      The Virginian-Pilot first reported the yearbook's contents.

      The revelation comes as the commonwealth's Democratic leadership is reeling over past racist conduct and an allegation of sexual assault.

      Gov. Ralph Northam's medical school yearbook page featured a photo of two students dressed in Ku Klux Klan robes and blackface. Northam initially apologized for the image, but backpedaled during a news conference Saturday where he denied being in the photo. He did, however, admit to wearing blackface in a separate incident to imitate Michael Jackson. Northam also attended VMI as an undergraduate, where his yearbook labels him with the slur "coonman."

      Northam has faced calls for his resignation, but has resisted giving up his position.

      Days after Northam's blackface scandal emerged, allegations of sexual assault surfaced against Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, who would be next in line for governor if Northam resigned. Fairfax has denied those allegations and suggested that could be politically motivated. The Washington Post, in a report published this week, said it had investigated the allegations against Fairfax but could not find evidence to corroborate either his version of events or his accuser's.

      Though unlikely, if both were to resign, that would leave Democratic Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring to ascend to the governorship. But Herring also admitted to and apologized Wednesday for wearing blackface at a party in college, prompting calls for his resignation.

      When asked about his role in editing the VMI yearbook, Norment deflected and said, “the only thing I’m talking about today is the budget,” the Virginian-Pilot reported.


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          Republicans are saying Democrats are treating the Fairfax case differently than they treated the Kavanaugh case. Are they?

          First, Kavanaugh had been selected to join the Supreme Court as a lifetime appointee, while Fairfax would succeed as governor, if the current governor resigns, and he would have to stand for election in order to continue in the office. Second, republicans REFUSED to even investigate Dr. Ford's accusations against Kavanaugh, before they were forced by public opinion and Democratic members and a couple of republican members of the Senate Judicial Committee to at least "investigate" for four days, and they insisted that those who called for an investigation promoted "mob rule". Democrats are not attempting to suppress or bypass investigations of Dr.Tyson's accusations.

          Is it prudent to adopt as a standard to believe the woman in every case? What happens when a woman presents what seems to be a credible accusation and the man denies the accusations, and there are no corroborating evidence? Do we default to the woman? That seems to be where we are. Is that really where we want to be?

          To be honest, given their backgrounds, my intuition is to believe both Dr. Ford and Dr. Tyson. So the question becomes what do we do in these credible accusation cases, when the statue of limitation has expired and there is no prosecutable crime? If we default to the woman, don't we risk the possibility of a false accusation ruining the man's life? If we default to the man, as republicans seem to prefer IF the man is a republican, we obviously devalue the woman. If we do nothing, we also devalue the woman.

          This might seem harsh, but one obvious solution might be to require women to report incidents to the police within a short time of the incident occurring. This would provide a better chance of an effective investigation, understanding the trauma of the incident. This may also seem harsh, but maybe men cannot be trusted to hold positions of power when they have to interact with women in those positions.


          Addressing sexual misconduct accusations involves changing a worldwide culture that has been in place since the beginning of time. It won't be easy and it might take a minute.

          https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/democrats-rallied-around-christine-blasey-ford-will-they-do-the-same-with-vanessa-tyson/2019/02/06/7ad0e7da-2a4b-11e9-b2fc-721718903bfc_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.0dbac0e8cc90

          She has decided we should know her name. It is Vanessa Tyson. And she has decided we should know her story. It is that, according to her, a man who is poised to become the governor of Virginia sexually assaulted her more than 14 years ago.

          Now comes a test for the rest of us — one that shows what was learned, if anything, as the country processed hauntingly similar allegations last year against then-Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh.

          Democrats and women’s groups rallied in support of Christine Blasey Ford, when she claimed that Kavanaugh had tried to force himself on her during a drunken encounter at a party of high schoolers in the early 1980s.

          Will Tyson get the same reception, given that the target of her allegation is Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, a rising star in the Democratic Party and the man many hope will replace embattled Gov. Ralph Northam?

          All of this comes as the entire Democratic leadership in Virginia is engulfed in overlapping scandals. Northam’s political survival is on the edge after photos surfaced from his 1984 medical school yearbook showing someone in blackface standing alongside another individual wearing a Ku Klux Klan robe. And it became a perfect storm Wednesday, when the state’s attorney general, Mark R. Herring — second in line for the governorship behind Fairfax, should the office become vacant — said he, too, once donned blackface.

          Fairfax’s accuser, like Kavanaugh’s, is an academic who lives in California. Tyson is a tenured professor at Scripps College in Claremont, Calif., and is on a year-long fellowship at Stanford University, where she is involved in research on sexual violence against women and children. Like Ford, she cannot produce anyone who witnessed what she says she went through.

          But, as with Ford, I keep coming back to the question: Why would she make this up?

          Tyson surely is well aware of the ordeal that awaits her. Yet she decided Wednesday afternoon to go public with a lengthy and graphic statement about what she claims happened.

          In Tyson’s telling, what began as consensual kissing in Fairfax’s hotel room during the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston turned into a traumatic and violent struggle, during which Fairfax physically overpowered her.

          “As I cried and gagged, Mr. Fairfax forced me to perform oral sex on him,” she wrote. “I cannot believe, given my obvious distress, that Mr. Fairfax thought this forced sexual act was consensual. To be very clear, I did not want to engage in oral sex with Mr. Fairfax and I never gave any form of consent.”

          Tyson did not speak to anyone for years about the alleged episode, she said, because she had “suppressed those memories and emotions as a necessary means to continue my studies, and to pursue my goal of building a successful career as an academic. At the time, I found this horrific incident especially degrading given my regular volunteer work at a local rape crisis center.”

          Fairfax insists the encounter was consensual. And, though he urged that Tyson be treated with respect — “I wish her no harm or humiliation, nor do I seek to denigrate her or diminish her voice” — that was not how he himself behaved toward her as word of her allegations seeped into the media.

          Fairfax’s first reaction was to smear her. He claimed, falsely, that The Post had investigated her story and found “significant red flags and inconsistencies within the allegations.” In truth, The Post had looked into her account after she approached the paper in December 2017, shortly after Fairfax was elected as lieutenant governor; our editors decided not to publish because The Post could not corroborate either version of events.


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          The Northam Racecard

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              Some of our best friends were racist. They are also politicians, Doctors, Teachers, Judges, and even Governors of our States. They are also our parents, siblings and Pastors of our church. They are everywhere. Some hide their beliefs, and others are in the open with them. Some have never mentioned their racist ways to us, or even their family. Others could care less who knows.

              But you see, I didn't say they are racist I said they were long before. Did you catch that? Some use to be racist, but not today. They use to hate the Jews, or Polish people, and some of them hated black, white, or Mexican people. But not today. Today they see them differently. Some people treat them differently, but at the same time are trying not too. Their reasons vary, some were treated bad themselves in their past, others were taught. What ever the real reason for the hate, or the disgust they try to do better today because they know hating a race of people is wrong by judging them by one person or just a few.

              I faced this myself with my own dad. I learned what was going on when I was 11-12 years old, and I told myself that I would not do that to people ever again. But when you are raised racist certain things are ingrained into you. I was no different. Certain words, sayings, beliefs are taught to you on a regular basis. If you are a child there is no place to run, so you have to listen to it. Plus certain words I didn't even know what I was repeating.

              I endured this for over 40 years, and one day my father changed. He apologized. I found out he was raised the same way. It was slow process, but unfortunately the ones that suffered the most in my opinion was the older grandchildren that never got a hug or a I love you from their own grandfather. There was no bonding, no going to the house for holiday dinner, or cheers when one made honor roll. Except from their mother a few words here or there the children didn't have a clue until they were older what was going on, on the other side of the family.

              We trash all racism cause deep down in our hearts we know it's wrong. But we also even today continue trashing people for racism even when they have repented. Their ah ha moment came with access baggage and that baggage is "Once a racist, always a racist."

              Lyndon B Johnson use to be one of those people, and Abraham Lincoln was one also, and so was Judge Black.

              -----

              CNN: Even Obama learned to accept such flaws from a white person who was more than a political ally. It was his white grandmother.
              In the famous "race" speech he gave in 2008 when his candidacy was threatened by the release of his former pastor's angry condemnation of America, Obama invoked her.
              "I can no more disown him than I can disown my white grandmother, a woman who helped raise me ... but a woman who once confessed her fear of black men who passed by her on the street, and who on more than one occasion has uttered racial or ethnic stereotypes that make me cringe."
              If black people only worked with white allies free of any racism, bias or past mistakes, we would be alone.
              Before the yearbook incident, Northam won the support of Virginia's black community. He forcefully denounced the 2017 white supremacist rally in Charlottesville that took the life of a young woman. He successfully pushed for the expansion of Obamacare in Virginia. Former President Barack Obama campaigned for him. He won almost 90% of the black vote in his successful run for governor in 2017.
              That might help him, or it may not be enough.
              What matters for some is not one act from a person's life but the entire play. Do they push for equality in the end?

              Do they try to deny it, rationalize it with lines like, "That's not who I am today?" Or do they own up to their racism, make no excuses and vow to do better?


              Yet there is not much room for a politician to evolve in today's environment. There is a "rage industrial complex" that fixates on the latest racial flashpoint: an outrageous video, remark or image that's passed around social media like a viral grenade.

              Meanwhile those banal acts of racism that don't get caught in a photo or a tweet go by unremarked.
              Here's when I know there's genuine racial progress.
                It's not when a white politician is caught being racist and people demand his or her head. It's when people show the same amount of public outrage over the everyday acts of racism -- voter suppression, racial profiling, redlining -- that define so much of our everyday lives.

                ##

                So I have to ask everyone here on yabberz to do one thing before condemning anyone, and yes I am guilty also. That one thing is ... where is this persons history of bigotry? Where is his/her hate directed at? Has he been lifted out of hate, or does he still reside there? Did you see the hate firsthand?

                "Were" and "are" have two different meanings and none of us should condem another human being if the news only post one side of the story. Maybe we should be looking at who posted the picture and figure out if they had something to gain by doing it?

                I believe politics played a roll in this. I really do, and maybe just maybe Northam may of been fixing to do something and the only way to stop him was to pull a race card on him.

                https://www.cnn.com/2019/02/03/us/racist-photo-nor...

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                $$$ Divide Conservative Social "Warriors"??

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                    Remember the woman who was jailed because she refused federal Court orders to issue marriage licenses in her county?

                    Heard reports today that she and the state were sued by several of the couples, and lost. So now they have to pay something like $200,000 in legal fees to the lawyers for the couples.

                    Although the current governor said he supported her refusal to do her job, he has now sued in court to require her to pay the full amount instead of the state tax payers.

                    Good to see them falling out over the $$, but I agree she should pay the full freight. She was entirely out of line.

                    (the guy who was governor at the time did NOT support her actions)

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                    AOC’s 70% Tax Plan Is Just The Beginning

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                        Everyone--centrist Dems, right-wing pro-capitalists-no-matter-what, and even my fellow solidly left-of-center Democratic Socialists or social democrats, need this crisp, clear explanation of "taxing the rich" and "you didn't build that," etc. Worth your time to read--

                        https://jacobinmag.com/2019/01/ocasio-cortez-70-pe...

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                        Chuck Schumer Chooses A Speaker To Give The Rebuttal To Trump's SOTU

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                            https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2019/01/29...

                            On Tuesday, Democrats announced that Stacey Abrams will deliver the rebuttal to President Trump’s State of the Union address next week. It’s a choice that highlights the party’s diversity and the important role African American women will play in the next election.

                            “Picking a black woman to deliver this speech is a powerful statement about where the Democratic Party is and where the nation is," Democratic strategist Karine Jean-Pierre told The Fix. Jean-Pierre called Abrams “an accomplished legislator and inspiring communicator who’s proven she knows how to move votes.”

                            “The contrast with Trump could not be more stark,” she said.

                            It also gives Abrams a national platform a week after she suggested she was being overlooked as a 2020 presidential contender.

                            [Stacey Abrams looks at her options after the narrow loss in a Georgia election marred by disputes over voting irregularities]

                            Abrams’s 2018 bid to become the country’s first black female governor attracted lots of attention — Oprah Winfrey campaigned for her, and Google said she was the most searched political figure of 2018. Though she narrowly lost the race for Georgia governor, she won more votes than any Democrat who has run for statewide office, in part by building a powerful grass-roots get-out-the-vote operation.

                            In the days after the race ended, Abrams launched a listening tour across Georgia. She appeared on television and gave a TED Talk. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) tried to recruither for a U.S. Senate run. But her name has been largely missing from the conversation about who the Democrats should nominate for president in 2020.

                            Abrams attributed that, at least in part, to her race and gender. “It is telling that that conversation [about Abrams as a presidential contender] isn’t happening as frequently," she told my colleague this month. "And that is to take nothing away from those whose names are being bandied about, but I worry, not just for myself, I worry about the person who comes next who is kept out of the conversation because of arbitrary filters about what viability looks like.”

                            When I saw Stacey Abrams trending I was hoping it would be accompanied with... running for president
                            See Khaled Beydoun's other Tweets
                            Kamala Harris ain’t it, Bernie Sanders ain’t it, and Elizabeth Warren ain’t it.



                            I really need Stacey Abrams, Beto O’Rourke, or Andrew Gillum in the mix.

                            411 people are talking about this

                            CNN’s Nia-Malika Henderson noted as much, contrasting the relative lack of attention Abrams received with former congressman Beto O’Rourke, who narrowly lost his bid to unseat Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) last year.

                            Though O’Rourke has not said what he’ll do next — fans can follow him on social media as he travels the country’s highways and gets his teeth cleaned — supporters have launched a “Draft Beto” operation to lay groundwork for his presidential run, particularly in early primary states. The organization has attracted some top-flight political talent, endorsements from the likes of former Maryland governor Martin O’Malley and some early fundraising success.

                            There is no similar apparatus-in-waiting for Abrams.

                            “O’Rourke, tall, handsome, white and male, has this latitude, to be and do anything. His privilege even allows him to turn a loss to the most despised candidate of the cycle into a launchpad for a White House run,” Henderson wrote. “Stacey Abrams, a Yale-trained lawyer, couldn’t do this."

                            There are signs, though, that things are changing. There has been sizable interest in the candidacy of Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.), the first black woman to have a real shot at the Oval Office, according to analysts. Abrams’s selection to speak next week is another sign that Democratic leaders are taking black women seriously as voters and candidates.

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