A friend emailed me a few days to ask what would be next in the saga of top Virginia Democrats. We had some fun speculating about the question. My speculation focused, half-jokingly, on Virginia’s attorney general, Mark Herring.
Today we learn that Herring wore blackface in the 1980s. The source of this knowledge is Herring himself. He admits it.
How scandalous is wearing blackface in the 1980s? Not very, in my opinion. The worst part about the Northam year book photo, I think, was the guy dressed up as a Klansman.
But my opinion doesn’t count here. Herring has sinned not just against good taste, but also against the religion of political correctness.
So, I suspect, have a fair number of the Democratic Virginia legislators who are judging Northam (and now Herring). As I wrote here, “it would be interesting to know how many Virginia delegates and senators have one or more racist (or racially tinged, to use the popular weasel words of today) antic in their past.”
Herring’s admission may help Northam keep his job, assuming he remains willing to fight. Quite apart from lieutenant governor Jason Fairfax’s difficulty, will Virginia Democrats be up for seeing two of its three state-wide elected officials leave office? Will they be up for explaining why Northam had to go, but not Herring?
The crowd that’s pushing for statue removal and name-changing based on sins against contemporary beliefs by the public figures of the late 1700s and first half of the 1800s would be better advised to scrutinize contemporary public figures. They won’t like what they find, which may be one of the reasons why they are so focused on the distant past.