Democrats have such a friendly relationship with the media that the emergence of a photo of one of their leading elected officials in blackface could actually help their public image.
Media outlets across the country are covering the growing chorus of calls for my Virginia Governor Ralph Northam to resign over the shocking photo from his 1984 medical school yearbook page, which features a person in a Ku Klux Klan outfit standing beside a person wearing blackface with a fedora, curly hair, bow tie, and sunglasses.
The controversy grew even more intense following sexual assault allegations against Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax and the subsequent admission by Attorney General Mark Herring — who would stand to become governor if both Northam and Fairfax resign — that he, too, wore blackface at least once when he was in college.
Northam has kept the blackface issue in the news with a series of boneheaded public statements, most recently with an interview in which he referred to black slaves as “indentured servants.”
Clearly, the outrage over a statewide public official possibly harboring a history of racism is no small story, and it should not be minimized or overlooked, because we should always call out bigotry and racism like this. However, this scandal is covering up another scandal, and that’s no surprise coming from the most prominent wing of the Democrat Party, the extreme progressive left.
Prominent Democrats in Virginia and nationwide have taken the opportunity afforded by the racism scandal to virtue-signal, each trying to surpass the others in their expressions of outrage. The media have obliged, giving them a spotlight to proclaim just how righteous they are by condemning a man many of them warmly endorsed less than two years ago.
As obviously racist as the image in Northam’s yearbook, along with his derogatory “nickname,” are, it’s equally nauseating that Democrats are using the controversy to distract from the fallout over their radical pro-abortion agenda, for which Northam was making himself a leading spokesperson just days before the photo became public.
You can have a debate about whether life begins at conception, or whether the fetus is viable in the first few weeks of pregnancy, but you can’t justify, normalize, and sugar coat murder. When an infant is born and then killed, just call it pre-meditated murder.
When the yearbook story first broke, the media were circling the wagons to protect Ralph Northam from criticism over his open embrace of infanticide. In an interview defending a Democrat state legislator’s bill to allow “abortions” up to the point of birth, Northam went even further and declared that doctors would let parents decide to kill their children even after they’re born.
Northam was trying to dig Virginia Delegate Kathy Tran out of a hole after she admitted under tough questioning that her bill would eliminate most restrictions on abortion right up to the moment a baby is born, mirroring similar legislation that was recently passed in New York.The real story, as far as The Washington Post was concerned, was that Republicans were being mean to Tran, who, the newspaper was sure to remind readers, is a very likable woman.
The callous and soulless nature of this extreme “pro-choice” movement was laid bare in Tran’s admission that legalized infanticide is what she and her fellow travelers in New York are really advocating. The media was doing its best to run interference, but the grotesque nature of the Democrat legislation provoked widespread disgust among the public.
Tran issued a ridiculous video defending herself, doing her best to imply she hadn’t said exactly what she’d said in an open session of the Virginia House of Delegates. She was planning to hold a town hall in her district where she’d have to face the disappointment of constituents over her abortion extremism. The whole Democrat Party feared being held to account for its radical pro-abortion stance.
That is, until Ralph “Coonman” Northam got his moment on the national dance floor.
Instantly, the pressure fell away. All Democrats needed to do to distract from the infanticide controversy was make the obvious play and condemn the Virginia Governor as a racist.
Even Kathy Tran got relief. She canceled her town hall and blamed conservatives, citing “safety concerns.” The media no longer had to cover the massive pro-life rally outside the venue, which took place anyway. News outlets had Ralph Northam and his racist yearbook to report on, and self-righteous Democrats could discuss their disdain for racism instead of having to answer questions about their support for infanticide.
Now that scandal has engulfed all three of Virginia’s top elected officials, raising the possibility that Republican House Speaker Kirk Cox could ascend to the governor’s office, the conversation has drifted even further from the radical pro-abortion statements that got Northam into hot water in the first place.
Ralph Northam’s yearbook photo is undeniably despicable, but that doesn’t make his effort to legalize infanticide any less so. The same extremists who pushed abortion-on-demand in New York are still out there, and they still aspire to make Virginia the next haven for full-term abortions.
We can’t let Democrats distract us from their infant-killing agenda just because a growing number of them are finally being exposed as racists.
Paris Dennard (@ParisDennard) served as the associate director for coalitions at the Republican National Committee from 2009-11 and worked in the President George W. Bush White House.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.