Man, I don’t know what the hell is in the water out in Virginia, but they need to do a lot better job screening candidates, it seems like. The Governor and Attorney General are currently in the middle of major damage control because one guy had blackface pictures of himself surface, and the other guy is getting out ahead of things and warning everyone there are probably blackface pictures of himself circulating. Then there’s the Lieutenant Governor who was accused of a college-aged sexual assault just days after taking office.
To be clear, all three men are Democrats, which would typically mean they’re liberal, or progressive. Which to me means absolutely nothing. If Governor Northam and Attorney General Mark Herring knew they’d been photographed in blackface before they ran, they had two options: a) not run or b) disclose the pictures, fall on their sword, and promise that they’ve changed and see now why, even if they never harbored “traditionally” racist views that using blackface is always racist, and hope for the best. They’d probably still have lost, though, and that is exactly why they didn’t say anything. I don’t buy that they didn’t know such pictures existed, and the bottom line is that the chance to look like reformed people worthy of praise has flown right by.
Honestly, this is the one time that if you see a Republican wag their finger at a Democrat for being a hypocrite about racism, they’d be on the moral high ground. For as much as Democrats and progressives (rightly) point out that the GOP has long held sway with white supremacists in this country, for the party to put two guys into office that have insensitive — to be generous — pasts in terms of race is pretty terrible optics. I used to be a guy who said shit he thought was funny because he thought being funny meant just saying offensive stuff without regard to why you’re saying it, so believe me when I say I’m not about to stand on a soapbox and throw Northam and Herring under a bus they can’t get out from under, but I’m also not running for office any time soon, am I?
So yes, Republicans, have your moment of crowing about this Virginia kerfuffle. You’ve all earned it –
OMG! What’s wrong with the Virginia Democratic Party? First the governor, then the Lt Gov’s problems now the third in line, the states Attorney General, another Democrat has a “blackface” problem!
It’s almost like Democrats are totally full of crap! Disgusting!
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) February 6, 2019
Wait. Nope. Sorry, not you, Donald Trump Jr.
I did some checking into it, and it turns out that racist d-bags don’t actually get to claim the moral high ground about other people’s racist pasts. I know, that might be kinda hard to understand, but being a racist and clucking about someone else’s racism is like being a Trump and clucking about someone else’s lies, fraud, abuse, and incompetence.
If there is anyone on Earth that has zero right to talk about this situation, it’s Donald Trump Jr. Well, he and is father. Oh, and Stephen Miller too.
Okay, so basically if you’re involved in the Donald Trump administration in any way, I don’t think you get to comment on the Northam situation, at all. Like, average Republicans? You’re free to condemn them. You’re free to point out how gross it is for them to campaign on being an alternative to the hatred and racism that Trumpism represents, while hiding a shameful racist secret. That’s cool. But Trump people? Even Trump supporters?
Hell fucking no.
I seem to remember that during the 2016 election, Donald Trump Jr. tweeted a meme that is straight-up taken from Nazi propaganda. It compared Muslim refugees to a bowl of Skittles with only a handful of poisoned ones. The Nazis literally made the same analogy using mushrooms. And that was after his dad entered the contest by slagging off literally every single Mexican by calling them “rapists, drug dealers, and murderers.” Sure, he said there were “some good people” among them, but Tubby McStupid said the same thing about American Nazis, so how can we trust him?
Junior has tag-teamed black NFL players with his dad for daring to exercise their First Amendment rights. How dare they protest police brutality with a silent knee during the national anthem? He has, like his father again, retweeted debunked, racist crime stats that show that somehow — ”culturally” — African-Americans are just more prone to commit violent crime. Junior Dumb-Dumb helps lead the anti-immigrant charge by campaigning for people like Rep. Steve “What’s So Racist About Thinking White People Are Just Superior to Brown People?” King.
Donny Jr. has absolutely, positively, zero-point-zero high ground on racism. None.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m in no way saying your average Republican can’t rib Democrats over this. It’s an easy slam-dunk case of moral hypocrisy of those douche-clowns out in Virginia don’t just resign in disgrace and get it over with. Don’t they realize Americans love a good comeback story? Then again, the younger generations don’t seem so apt to forgive and forget when politicians do heinously stupid stuff like this, so maybe they’re doing the politically expedient/mega gross thing by hanging on for dear life and waiting for it to blow over.
But the rank and file Republicans that really aren’t racist — but just turn a blind eye to it when they see it in their leaders/fellow Republicans, and a deaf ear to the attendant dog whistles they necessitate — yeah, they can troll a little bit now. I guess. I just think Virginia is still a cesspool of racism that helped start both our country and the Civil War less than a hundred years later. Maybe in a generation or two enough racists will have died off, but two-plus years of Trump has made me see there was a lot more racism bubbling just under the surface in this country than I was aware of before January 2017.
Writer/comedian James Schlarmann is the founder of The Political Garbage Chute and his work has been featured on The Huffington Post. You can follow James on Facebook and Instagram, but not Twitter because he has a potty mouth.