The Washington Post tapped three reporters to write a piece suggesting that even though a photo of a man in blackface next to one in a Klan outfit appeared Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam’s medical school yearbook page, he’s not a racist and never was one.
The article, complete with photos of a young Northam surrounded by black people, may very well be a fair piece. My point is simply that the mainstream media would never, never do this for a Republican. And God knows, not for President Trump.
The story includes many passages like this:
An old family friend, Stewart Buckle, left Onancock High School to attend a private white academy created after desegregation in the late 1960s. “There was a feeling that if blacks came into the school system, they were going to lower the quality of the school,” Buckle said.
His friend Ralph stayed, and “I never heard of anything from Ralph or his brother Tom that was derogatory,” Buckle said. “Now, everybody tells an off-color joke about Jews or homosexuals or blacks — that’s just the nature of our society. But I never heard anything like that from them.”
Blacks and whites attended separate churches, led separate social lives. From elementary school through college, Northam went to schools where integration was new, where white children and black children were finding their way through a thicket of conventions and silent antagonisms that had festered for centuries.
The Northams’ neighbors were all white, said Sonda Dawes, who lived next door. In the restaurants in town, she recalled, you never saw black people. Young Ralph worked as a bag boy at the old Meatland grocery store, where people of all races shopped.
Ralph’s father, Wescott Northam, was a judge and a man of few words, but people knew he had a harsh view of racist behavior and would not tolerate epithets, longtime residents said. It was his father who finally told Ralph — during his 2017 campaign for governor — that his great-grandfather and great-great grandfather both owned slaves.