Sunday

February 17th, 2019

Insight

Why Should Gov. Northam Resign?

 Bernard Goldberg

By Bernard Goldberg

Published Feb. 11, 2019

Why Should Gov. Northam Resign?

Let me state right here at the start, so as to avoid being hunted down like a rabid dog by the PC police, that I am no fan of Virginia Governor Ralph Northam. I think he should resign.

Not because he's a racist. I don't think he is. But because at first he said he was sorry that he was one of the two morons in that medical school yearbook picture — either the one in the KKK costume or the other idiot in blackface — but one day later he said that upon reflection he wasn't either of them. If gross stupidity were an impeachable offense he'd be gone by now.

But it isn't. So why should the governor step down?

Is it because his critics believe he's a liar, that he really did put on a Klan outfit or went blackface for the picture? They have no proof of that. None!

Is he guilty simply because he acknowledges that around the same time he did in fact put dark shoe polish on his puss to look like Michael Jackson in a dance contest in San Antonio?

But if that's reason enough to be labeled a racist why isn't anyone calling Billy Crystal a racist? Never mind that Billy Crystal is not a racist. But he did put blackface on to look like Sammy Davis Jr. — on national television no less. It was funny!

But are we supposed to believe, somehow, that a white man going black to look like Michael Jackson is an act of racism but doing the same to look like Sammy Davis isn't? How does that work?

And what about Jimmy Kimmel and Joy Behar? They put on dark makeup to, in Kimmel's case, look like a black basketball player, and in Behar's case to look like a "beautiful African woman," as she put it — for Halloween. If Northam doesn’t get a pass, why do they? Same with Ted Danson and Sarah Silverman who decided to paint their faces black, for laughs.


This is a layup, but imagine if Donald Trump did anything like that — just for laughs, of course. Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer would personally put him on a raft and push it in the direction of the Bermuda Triangle.

Maybe the difference is that Ralph Northam is a governor and they're only comedians. But it can't be that. Kimmel and Behar fancy themselves a lot more than mere comics. They're also social and political commentators who share their liberal opinions every chance they get.

So what else could it possibly be?

Maybe it's what liberals who live in places like New York and Hollywood only acknowledge to members of their own progressive clan … about how deep down they think not much has changed in Mississippi and Alabama and even parts of Virginia in the last 50 years. Put sophisticated liberal elites on truth serum and there's a good chance they'll tell you how little they think of southerners, of their accents which elites equate with stupidity, and most of all, how they believe that a sizable portion of white (especially male) southerners remain to this day … unapologetic racists.

When I was working for CBS News many years ago in Atlanta, a CBS producer in New York asked me if they "wear shoes down there." Yes, he was kidding but he didn't ask people in Chicago or Los Angeles that question.

Maybe they want Governor Northam out because they believe he is, even now, a racist.

So let's examine the life he's led as governor: For one thing, he's restored voting rights for felons; he supported the removal of Confederate monuments; and he attends an integrated church with an African American pastor. If he's a racist today, he's doing a pretty good job hiding it.

Former West Virginia Senator Robert Byrd didn't pretend to be a Klansman. He was a Klansman — and not just any doofus, but an "Exalted Cyclops." But when he repudiated his past he was accepted into polite circles. The NAACP even praised him. Why not Governor Northam who has apologized for the Michael Jackson thing and may not be guilty of the other thing?

It's interesting that this is the same governor, who’s also a pediatrician, who just days before the pictures came to light calmly told an interviewer that if he delivers a baby that is alive, the result of a late term abortion that went awry, he would make sure the baby was comfortable while he consulted with the mother to decide what to do with the baby, whether the newborn infant should live or die. It wasn't clear if he would simply let the baby “comfortably” die on its own or if he would help kill the infant.

To a lot of liberals, donning a KKK robe or putting on black makeup (even if he didn’t really do it) is a worse offense than infanticide. Go figure!

Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

(COMMENT, BELOW)

JWR contributor Bernard Goldberg, the television news reporter and author of several bestselling books, among them, Bias, a New York Times number one bestseller about how the media distort the news. He is widely seen as one of the most original writers and thinkers in broadcast journalism. Mr. Goldberg covered stories all over the world for CBS News and has won 10 Emmy awards for excellence in journalism. He now reports for the widely acclaimed HBO broadcast Real Sports. He is a graduate of Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey and a member of the school's Hall of Distinguished Alumni and proprietor of BernardGoldberg.com.

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles