DIY Faith Opinion

Christian leaders, time to check your own yearbooks for past racist actions

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, left, accompanied by his wife, Pam, speaks during a news conference in the Governor’s Mansion in Richmond, Va., on Saturday, Feb. 2, 2019. Resisting widespread calls for his resignation, Northam on Saturday vowed to remain in office after disavowing a racist photograph that appeared under his name in his 1984 medical school yearbook. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

(RNS) — Christians believe in forgiveness and restoration.

The ultimate goal of church discipline — the methods by which a congregation addresses and corrects improper behavior among its members — should properly be aimed at making the person and the ones harmed whole again.

That does not mean, however, that there are no consequences for our sins and failings — as Virginia Governor Ralph Northam has learned recently.

A yearbook photo from 1984 recently surfaced, allegedly showing Northam dressed in blackface — makeup done in a caricature of black features originally used during the Jim Crow era to reinforce harmful stereotypes and poke fun at people of African descent.

At first, Northam admitted that he was in the photo.

Then he denied it but admitted that he once put shoe polish on his face when he dressed up for a Michael Jackson dance contest.

The admission that Northam had used blackface elicited immediate calls for his resignation.

This image shows Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam’s page in his 1984 Eastern Virginia Medical School yearbook. The page shows a picture of a person in blackface and another wearing a Ku Klux Klan hood next to different pictures of the governor. It’s unclear who the people in the picture are, but the rest of the page is filled with pictures of Northam and lists his undergraduate alma mater and other information about him. (Bob Brown/Richmond Times-Dispatch via AP)

Others have advocated for leniency and understanding, citing the fact that it was more than 30 years ago, and he seems to have changed his views. Although Virginia’s Congressional Black Caucus has not rescinded its calls for his resignation, leaders said they were willing to work with Northam on policy solutions to racial inequity.

Gov. Northam’s history of racism does not place him beyond redemption.

It may, however, put him out of office.

The goal of restoration does not mean a person does not face negative consequences for breaches of trust. It simply means that the final word on a person’s humanity should not be based solely on the worst act he or she has ever committed.

Ultimately, the citizens of the state of Virginia have to decide whether they want Northam to continue in his role as governor or step down — a choice made more complicated by the fact that his immediate successor, Justin Fairfax, has been accused of sexual assault, and the next person in line, Attorney General Mark Herring, also admitted to dressing in blackface.

As the debacle in Virginia unfolds, Christians have an opportunity to examine their own individual and institutional histories in order to bring their own stories of racism to light.

What would a yearbook audit of today’s prominent Christian leaders reveal? Have megachurch pastors, seminary presidents, committee heads, authors, professors, missionaries or theologians painted their faces black in a degrading pantomime of black people? Have they associated with people who flaunt racial bigotry? Do they have embarrassing racist incidents that they hope no one discovers?

Given the close associations with segments of the American church and racism, the answer to these questions is almost certainly “yes.”

The move with the most integrity would be for Christian leaders, especially those with large public platforms, to proactively admit the places where they got it wrong on race and commit to anti-racist action right now.

Virginia Attorney General Mark R. Herring has already set a precedent.

Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring speaks at a news conference near the White House on Feb. 26, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Four days after the revelation about Northam, Herring came forward to admit that he had dressed in blackface while an undergraduate student at the University of Virginia in 1980. As a result, he resigned a committee chairmanship but remains attorney general for the moment.

Whether Herring’s admission stemmed from genuine regret or from political pragmatism may never be apparent. What his admission does say is that leaders can voluntarily come forward with the truth about their past racist actions to offer apology and repair.

Some Christian churches and individuals have already begun revealing their own racist histories.

The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary recently published a 71-page report detailing the institution’s connections to slavery, segregation, and racism. George Robertson, the former pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Augusta, Georgia, published a letter admitting the church’s silence during the Civil Rights movement.

Many other statements and resolutions have been offered by various denominations and Christian entities.

More remains to be done. Admitting wrongdoing is only the first step. Tangible efforts to fix the broken trust between people of different races must follow.

For some Christians, concrete anti-racist action might entail stepping down from a leadership position in light of past racist actions. In some cases, the trust between the leader and her or his follows is so great that the person cannot continue in the role. In other cases, Christian institutions might need to change the names of buildings on campus or rename endowed chairs. They may commit to training all of their staff to understand implicit bias or amend their practices to ensure that several racial and ethnic minority candidates are interviewed whenever top-level positions open up.

More broadly, recompense for racism should extend beyond the walls of a church or a Christian organization. From the colonial era to the present, America has never relinquished its grip on racism. Christians who genuinely want to atone for any personal acts of racism must focus on dismantling racial inequality as it persists across systems and society.

Christians should be at the forefront of advocating for voting rights for all people and rejecting any measures that make it more difficult for the poor and racial or ethnic minorities to get to the polls. Christians can aid efforts to reform the criminal justice system that incarcerates black women and men at much higher rates than white people. And followers of Christ can be the first to denounce xenophobia and racism from political leaders even when the toxic rhetoric spews forth from the White House itself.

In his 1963 “Letter from a Birmingham Jail,” Martin Luther King Jr. wrote, “So here we are moving toward the exit of the twentieth century with a religious community largely adjusted to the status quo, standing as the tail-light behind other community agencies rather than a headlight leading men to higher levels of justice.”

More than half a century later, King’s words still prove relevant.

When it comes to racism, too often churches lag behind the rest of society instead of leading the way toward equality. Why should it be the case that corporations, entertainment industries, and professional sports make more headway in eliminating racial inequality than churches do?

Governor Northam’s incident with racist tropes provides Christians with the opportunity to self-audit for incidents of racism.

People who believe in spiritual redemption can readily acknowledge their own racism and work to heal both the interpersonal and institutional harm they have done.

Christians have the opportunity to demonstrate that it does not take an anonymous tip about a past racist action to initiate confession and repentance for racism.

(Jemar Tisby is a Christian, historian, writer and speaker. His first book, “The Color of Compromise: The Truth about the American Church’s Complicity in Racism,” was just published by Zondervan. The views expressed in this commentary do not necessarily represent those of Religion News Service.)

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Jemar Tisby

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  • Not just Christian leaders – everyone. For instance, who in their right mind thinks that Republican legislators in, say, the state of Virginia have spotless records when it comes to racism. I mean, come on – these are the same people, the Dixiecrats (or their descendants) who left the Democratic party in droves after LBJ signed the 1964 Civil Rights Act into law because they could just no longer call themselves Democrats after that. It was a bridge too far.

    Dixie never died. In fact, she’s enjoying a resurgence under Trump. You can’t tell me there aren’t racist skeletons in most closets south of the Mason/Dixon line – because I wouldn’t believe you if you did.

  • “What would a yearbook audit of today’s prominent Christian leaders reveal? “English Standard Version:
    “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” Romans 3:23

  • There is a bit of literary relevance that Gov. Northam’s picture appeared in the 1984 yearbook. George Orwell used the word, “newspeak” to edit and revise history. What seems to be happening is judge and punish people’s actions from the past by current standards, which cannot rewrite or revise history. Let me make it perfectly clear that racism is wrong, sinful, and anti-Christian. Being a progressive democrat I’m getting tired of what I consider new purity laws imposed by democratic leadership and progressives. The mission of the Episcopal Church as described in the BCP is to restore all to unity with God and with each other. What would restorative justice instead of retributive justice look like? Why are some people so quick to anger and quick to judge? The words of Jesus are still true, ““Whoever hasn’t sinned should throw the first stone.” All have sinned and fallen short so drop the stone in your hand and practice restoration, which is harder work than retribution.

  • https://www[DOT}washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-removal-of-confederate-windows-at-national-cathedral-was-no-cause-for-celebration/2017/09/08/0d75b59e-9406-11e7-8754-d478688d23b4_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.546a2e8565c4

  • Insisting people not serve in public office because of things they did in college or even high school is ludicrous, we aren’t Romans to believe that your character is set at birth and never changes. But the Kavanaugh Standard is the one that Democrats have demanded of others, so they should abide by it themselves. That means that not just Northam but the next two in line to become governor should resign … which would hand the governorship over to a Republican. Tough luck, but you have to stand by your principles, right?

  • WAIT, WHAT? “As the [purely DNC] debacle in Virginia unfolds, Christians have an opportunity to examine their own individual and institutional histories”?! NO, THEY DON’T. This is childish talk.

  • Fredrick Douglass called out blackface as racist in 1848. So I don’t think we are using today’s standards to say that blackface was wrong in 1984.

    I am all for restorative justice. But restorative justice requires fully acknowledgement and repentance. And it does not mean that the person gets to keep their position and authority during the process.

  • Too Late! Someone got the jump. I think this is a veiled reference to the report that someone who was angry about the recent remarks by the Governor on infanticide, gave information. Ergo, they “smell a Christian.” I hear that the after the AG, the next in line for Gov., is a conservative. I would imagine his yearbooks have suddenly become very popular. “To ——–, Best of Luck, wishing you all success in the future!” Only imagine if there are any written departures from this, in a classmate’s yearbook!

  • Why should it be the case that corporations, entertainment industries, and professional sports make more headway in eliminating racial inequality than churches do?

    Answer: Because religious philanthropy is rarely about the public good.

    The social services churches offer are typically limited, local, take a backseat to internal ministries, and exist for the sake of members who want to serve, not because a church sees a need to fix a societal dysfunction. So it is that the poor can get a meal, a roof over their heads, and so on while the root causes of poverty are left intact. Most churches function more like membership organizations than charities, offering benefits such as community, a sense of absolution, and a range of activities to choose from in exchange for joining and, hopefully, tithing.

    In my experience, most people who go to church aren’t looking to fix a broken world, but reserve a place for themselves, their families, and their friends in an imagined better world free of the pain associated with racism, poverty, injustice, and loss.

  • Of course the best route to take is not to act like a Trumpian Republican. To make garbage excuses, pretend it is perfectly OK, lie like a cheap rug, or cover up prior misdeeds. But instead to disclose, admit and make an act of contrition.

    Northam created his own mess by not being upfront early on when the scandal broke. He could have neutered it by addressing it head on and with some apology.

  • Republicans in their own glass house are in no positions to throw stones. Democrats are pilorying Northam for something that a Republican would use as a general campaign point.
    We have outright unabashed neo-nazis who have run for office as Republicans. David Duke can endorse a Republican for president and nobody bothers to even feel a twinge of guilt over it. Our president calls white supremacists “very fine people” and gets nothing but excuses and apologia from his supporters.

    Lets face it, the GOP has taken to turning bigotry into policy positions, Conservatives crowing about this incident are full of it.

  • What does trump have to do with the racist, sexual assaulter, democrats that run the state of VA?
    What does trump have to do with the alt-left, racist, democrat, anti-semites from MN and NY?
    What does trump have to do with the NY, VA and VT democrats that write laws to murder children AFTER birth?

    ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!!!

  • We have outright sexual assaulters in the VA government – we MUST listen to his accusers.
    He MUST resign now!!

    Believe the woman!
    Women are victims!
    #metoo

  • You are so full of crap. When there was SWORN TESTIMONY against Kavananaugh you made excuses for it. When there was nothing but perjury against Bill Clinton, you called him names. There isn’t even testimony under oath in VA.

    When there is sworn testimony against Fairbanks, then I will take it seriously, unlike hypocritical lying conservatives like yourself.

    Republicans love their rapists, pedophiles, embezzlers, and bigots. They play cheap denial games and make excuses for them.

  • Trump set the pace for conservatives to lie and make excuses for sexual predators. If a person is a Democrat, then rumor or perjury is enough. If the person is a Republican then sworn testimony is ignored and excuses are made.

    There is no alt-left. But they are invoked by Trump to ignore the white supremacists he has embraced as his support base.

    Children are born. No children are harmed by those laws. Trump supporters want to turn women into chattel property of the state. No relation to this subject at all. Evidently the sole purpose of the anti-abortion position is to act like a horse’s posterior and derail discussions.

  • No, that is what you are doing.

    Republican standards are nobody is guilty ever if the person is a Republican. Any excuse or lie is OK in defense of their actions. If a person is a Democrat, they are guilty regardless of whether any of it is true. Usually it isn’t.

  • The only hate coming out here is yours. So very irrational. You are left sputtering inane slogans.

    So what is wrong with public disclosure and contrition for past wrongs?
    You support a leader who has no idea what that concept means.

  • If you’re asking:

    “Do you think we can learn lessons from the rise of the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei in Germany?”

    the answer is “yes”.

    If you’re asking:

    “Do you think an offense in youth and/or decades ago should be used to punish someone currently?”

    the answer is “no” unless the offense was a crime for which the statute of limitations has not run out.

  • “Republicans in their own glass house are in no positions to throw stones.”

    After the Kavanaugh debacle that aphorism is meaningless.

    “Democrats are pilorying Northam for something that a Republican would use as a general campaign point.”

    Also meaningless.

    “We have outright unabashed neo-nazis who have run for office as Republicans.”

    David Duke is now 68 years old and has not been in office for a quarter century.

    If we’re going to do ancient history, let’s remember the KKK was a potent force in the Democratic Pary right into the WWII era.

    “Lets face it, the GOP has taken to turning bigotry into policy positions ….”.

    Let’s face it, by doing 100% identity politics the Democrats have painted themselves into a corner of sheer bigotry: anti-semitic, anti-Christian, anti-white, anti-straight, anti-Catholic, anti-life, and anti-commonsense.

  • “You are so full of crap.”

    You are so full of crap.

    “When there was SWORN TESTIMONY against Kavananaugh you made excuses for it.”

    When there was SWORN either lies or faulty recollections people interested in justice pointed out that the EVIDENCE cut the ground out from under the allegations.

    Democrats love their anti-semites, anti-Christians, anti-whites, anti-straights, anti-Catholics, anti-lifers, and anti-commonsense left.

  • “Answer: Because religious philanthropy is rarely about the public good.”

    I think in previous discussions we’ve established that your actual position is:

    “Answer: Because religious philanthropy is rarely about what I consider the public good.”

  • “Trump set the pace for conservatives to lie and make excuses for sexual predators.”

    As usual, nada on the citations and evidence.

  • So you think that for instance, previously undisclosed sexual abuse of a minor that was committed while the person was say 25-30 but is now 30 years old is not disqualifying?

  • Democrats in the news for vile blackface, sexual assault and infantcide.
    What has happened to the Democrat party?

  • I am asking questions. That seems to fit your qualifications. In many cases sexual abuse of a minor does have a statute of limitations that would mean that it would meet your qualifications of something that should not matter.

    So I am trying to figure out what matters and what doesn’t.

    I am not suggesting that there is always a hard and fast rule. If if somethings do matter today and other things don’t then we have to figure out what it is that makes the different in general.

    If the different is only legal culpability, then there are lots of openings. It the difference is differently nuanced then we can talk about what makes those differences that are not legal issues.

    And if you think I am being obtuse, I am not. I specifically know a case of someone that was in a position of authority with an undisclosed sexual relationship while he was about 25 and she was about 16 and he was in a position of authority over her. She found out he was in that position of authority and reported him to his employer.

  • Tisby’s lack of perspective is appalling (and revealing). Northam
    unequivocally advocated for infanticide days before the blackface
    debacle surfaced (a fact Tisby is certainly aware of). Northam should
    absolutely resign. But not for wearing blackface as Tisby argues.
    Blackface, while incredibly culturally offensive, pales in moral
    comparison to the intentional destruction of an innocent child moments
    after it is born, as Northam advocated. Tisby’s take on this issue
    reveals him for what he is–a shameless advocate for the black power
    political movement, awkwardly dressed up as an evangelical Christian.

  • Something conservatives like Meghan Kelly MADE EXCUSES FOR IN PUBLIC. The difference being Democrats are criticizing someone for it.

    You would never do that if the person was a Republican. You would be lying like a cheap rug and coming up with conspiracy theories about it. As you have done before.

  • “So I am trying to figure out what matters and what doesn’t.”

    You seem to be in possession of some idea of what matters and what doesn’t, you’re just not laying it on the line.

    And if you think I am being obtuse, I am not.

  • conflating a reprehensible crime (rape of a minor) with a culturally insensitive gaff (blackface) is, in a word, insane.

  • Tater, did you go to the Westminster Kennel Club thingy? Gosh, I would love to see that in person and as you are in NY, you would have a chance. I think it’s in the Radio City thingy

  • The goal of restoration does not mean a person does not face negative consequences for breaches of trust. It simply means that the final word on a person’s humanity should not be based solely on the worst act he or she has ever committed.

    A person’s humanity is never based on their sin or actions, solely or in addition to any other works based conception. A person’s humanity is independent of their actions. Even their best actions do not make them more than others.

    Perhaps that’s not what you meant in using “a person’s humanity”.

    Christians should be at the forefront of advocating for voting rights for all people and rejecting any measures that make it more difficult for the poor and racial or ethnic minorities to get to the polls. Christians can aid efforts to reform the criminal justice system that incarcerates black women and men at much higher rates than white people. And followers of Christ can be the first to denounce xenophobia and racism from political leaders even when the toxic rhetoric spews forth from the White House itself.

    You did really good in this article until you condescended here. You’re rhetoric here is as toxic as anything spewing anywhere else. So as a Christian, I’m at the forefront of denouncing your blanket prejudice.

    And while you were busy writing a book, the current administration was already passing first steps in systemic reforms, commuting non-violent offenders, and looking to reform immigration that both protects minority citizens and values the abiding immigrant.

    Instead of division, maybe it’s time you offered to help shape the future? What if instead of letting your prejudice get in the way of progress, you attempt to be a part of the next step in criminal justice reform or suggest a better way to handle voter issues that protect the citizen and the citizen’s vote against modern day abuses?

  • “and looking to reform immigration that both protects minority citizens and values the abiding immigrant”

    No it isn’t. It is looking to fill quotas and crowd detention centers with inoffensive menial laborers. It is looking to attack legal immigration, deport veterans, and further a white supremacist agenda.

    You were fine up until your last two paragraphs.

  • And you could be right, but that still doesn’t solve the current problems.

    I would encourage you to contribute helpful suggestions, rather than waste time trying to prove what others intentions are that you believe in your head.

  • Northam is doing the right thing if he leads the conversation to examine how racism continues, how we absorb it and portray it in ways we don’t even think about.

    Northam leaves and the conversation does not continue – the only lesson learned is that if you ever screw up, you screwed up for life. He stays and helps keep the examination going. Every college needs to examine how they played with racist language and tropes in all their publications; that probably applies to a lot of high schools, too. The same goes for our religious institutions, businesses, and institutions like the Girl Scouts, political organizations, and American Medical Association.

    Lets see if Northam can help us deal with this as a very much needed learning experience, a chance to examine behavior that needs to change.

  • Unity is overrated. It is too often used to avoid addressing issues.

    I did leave a helpful suggestion:

    People are always better off coming clean about past foibles and asking forgiveness rather than covering them up, denial, lying about them, making excuses, or pretending nothing bad was done.

    This way one controls the bad news rather than becomes controlled by it. It is far easier to regain the trust of someone being forthright than one who is constantly lying to your face.

  • Tisby is trapped in TDS, which if you believe “evil” won the election, you’d probably react similarly. And he lacks the capacity to pace the pro-lifers because of it. A helpful litmus for him would be to assume Northam is Trump, and write the article again. I bet it wouldn’t be so forgiving, which would expose his own prejudice.

  • I do have an idea of what matters, but you were the one objecting to my comment. So I was trying to listen to what you had to say.

    I am comparing rape of a child here because that is a pretty universally understood crime as reprehensible.

    If we can start by agreeing that there are things that are lines that matter, and work our way back then we can get somewhere.

    If you have no interest in trying to have meaningful discussion, that is fine. But don’t pretend that black face is a simple gaffe. Blackface has a long history that is rooted in White supremacy. It is less physically violent than lynching, but is part of a similar mindset that is designed to dehumanize.

    I tend to think that is a person is intentionally dehumanizing, that is a character issue. And character issues do matter.

    I am not saying that people can’t change. But I see no evidence that Northam understands why Blackface is dehumanizing. So I don’t think he is capable of leading.

    If he is now being assigned by advisors to read Case for Reparations and and other pretty basic things on racism in the US, then he has not read them before. All of that is to say, no I do not think he has shown that he is prepared to lead adequately.

  • CRUDDIE (in reaction to the news that “Virginia Governor Ralph Northam [of the Democratic Party seen photographed in] 1984 … dressed in blackface … to reinforce harmful stereotypes and poke fun at people of African descent … elicited immediate calls for his resignation”]: “[THIS CAN ONLY MEAN THAT] neo-nazis … run for office as Republicans … turning bigotry into policy positions”!!!!

    HpO: For further clarification, here’s the video version of what CRUDDIE meant to say: https://youtu.be/pJXFMIXx7iQ.

  • Woe to “the DNC and Northam”, for The “Infanticide[d]” shall never have and be in school “yearbooks”.

  • Insane conflation. Child rape is universally and objectively reprehensible, and has been throughout mankind’s history. Blackface is not–it is offensive in this particular time and culture. If Northam did it today, it would be disqualifying (it is universally understood to be an extreme insult to African Americans). However, I have no idea what Northam’s understanding of the issue was 30 years ago, and have no idea what his intentions were when he did it. Consequently, we cannot say for sure whether his blackface was “universally reprehensible.”

    Do you think it was disqualifying for him to promote infanticide?

  • Blackface, something Republicans make excuses for and pretend is OK but Democrats find as grounds for removal. You are in no position to lecture anyone on the subject.

    As long as Neo-nazis feel emboldened to run as Republicans their opinions here are worthless.

    A far more informative youtube video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mk4XB2wZqF4

  • If you want to intentionally keep conflating my words go right ahead, but I am not saying that child rape and blackface are the exact same thing. And the only way you can get there is if you ignore what I have actually written.

    I am saying that there are lines and that some things, even if done 30 years ago are disqualifying (which Mark seemed to suggest earlier didn’t exist).

    So you are affirming that the line exists, which allows that we can have a conversation here.

    My contention is that 30 years ago, Blackface was universally understood as dehumanizing African Americans. Was it understood as universally reprehensible 30 years ago, no. But that isn’t what I think the line should be.

    I think the line should be universally dehumanizing. If the line is universally dehumanizing then I think that he should resign, because American have been speaking about Blackface as dehumanizing at least since Frederick Douglass in 1848. I think 138 years of people speaking of Blackface as dehumanizing should be enough time for the message to sink in.

  • Northam is attempting to save his political career.

    He has no higher motives, and if the save involves wearing a tutu and tap dancing, he’ll do it.

  • That’s definitely a good suggestion for managing PR. My example is often how easily Andy Pettite got excused/forgiven versus Roger Clemens. Honesty vs. Defiance.

    Northam gets an A+ for honesty. Whether or not he should still govern is up to Virginians.

    Though, I don’t see this article written in the same forgiving tone if that’s say Trump instead of Northam.

  • Lets face it no one really cared back then about dressing up for Halloween. And it was a better time to be honest. That being said Northam is the same age as me and I don’t think even crazy college me would be OK with the KKK costume.

    But the blackface hysteria is a little ridiculous in general.

    I disagree 100% with Northam and Fairfax’s politics but the social lynch mob coupled with the guilty until innocent crap is out of hand.

  • “Democrats are pilorying Northam for something that a Republican would use as a general campaign point. ”

    Sure blah blah blah “Nazi’s” see a shrink soon.

  • You mean the sworn testimony that was 30 years old, where the accuser springs the accusation at the politically most opportune time, and the accuser cannot name place or time of the incident even to the resolution of a particular year? And the corroborating witnesses do not support her story with her supposed best friend saying she doesn’t even know Kavanaugh.

    You mean that sworn testimony ?

    Or maybe you prefer the chick who swore that she went to MULTIPLE gang rape parties as a college student with with High School Kavanaugh present? That one? Being abducted bu aliens is more credible.

    Really seek professional help for that TDS

  • “Blackface, while incredibly culturally offensive, pales in moral comparison to the intentional destruction of an innocent child moments after it is born, as Northam advocated.” It pales, but it sprouts from the same root — the willingness to dehumanize.

  • Agreed that blackface is currently dehumanizing. Disagree if you believe Tisby is correct that Northam should resign for Blackface rather than for promoting infanticide.

  • As I said, conservatives make excuses for ignoring sworn testimony when its a Republican. Accepting rumor and perjury as true when its a Democrat being accused.

    People have been convicted of crimes on sworn testimony. But evidently standards of proof are transitory for conservatives depending on the party of the accused. Far too often conservatives will repeat debunked or knowingly untrue statements just for trolling purposes.

    Kavanaugh did nothing to rebut Ford other than go into an infantile tirade. Also literally dozens of ethics complaints about him disappeared after taking the position.

    “And the corroborating witnesses do not support her story with her supposed best friend saying she doesn’t even know Kavanaugh.”

    There was no testimony rebutting Ford presented to the proceedings. There were rumors and stories bandied about, but nothing which could constitute evidence.

    Yes one needs help with Trump’s Dishonest Supporters.

    Again, Republicans make excuses for their misceants and throw their support of them. Democrats throw theirs under a bus.

  • Also, where does this line of logic end? I called someone fat kid in high school. That was dehumanizing. Have you ever dehumanized someone? If so, how long ago? Last week? Last year? In college? High school?

    If yes, should you lose your job?

  • “Though, I don’t see this article written in the same forgiving tone if that’s say Trump instead of Northam.”

    No need to.

    When has Trump apologized for anything?
    When has he shown self awareness of making a mistake or acting badly?

    It doesn’t happen. Instead we have legions of crap excuses, equivocation, whataboutism and flat out lying in his defense.

  • Sorry, I should have said in comparable situations like actually wearing blackface.

    Trump did apologize multiple times for the audio comments on women. Saying he hasn’t on anything is as dissonant as those who make blanket excuses. Accepting it or not is up to you.

    I have a tendency to separate the boxing ring of politics versus decades old incidents though when it comes to expecting apologies. “acting badly” for instance depends on your filter. Trump is nothing new. So what does that really mean that we aren’t already used to? Which isn’t an excuse, but the population isn’t quite used to seeing a Republican diss it as he takes it from the opposition’s leadership. And since it’s largely tit for tat on mistakes, acting badly, etc against opposition leadership, I think there are better things to worry about, like watching the needle actually shift toward criminal justice reform, which I would argue would not have been done by a Hillary, a Romney, or any other politician beholden to the dichotomy of competence between the parties.

    Long way to go to see how it all turns out, but those who complain about the rhetoric are complaining about rhetoric because it’s all they have left to argue.

  • CRUDDIE (in reaction to the news that “Virginia Governor Ralph Northam [of the Democratic Party seen photographed in] 1984 … dressed in blackface … to reinforce harmful stereotypes and poke fun at people of African descent … elicited immediate calls for his resignation”]: “[See that?] Republicans make excuses for … Blackface … and pretend is OK … [and] Neo-nazis feel emboldened to run as Republicans”!!!!

    HpO: For further clarification, here’s the video version of what CRUDDIE meant to say: https://youtu.be/pJXFMIXx7iQ.

  • If Northam was a Republican, Sean Hannity would be on the air saying its OK. Making excuses for it.

    Conservatives are in no position to criticize anyone here. We both know Republicans love racists.

  • BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!
    Learning experience…. pfffft…
    Let’s crucify him in the public square like you wanted to do with Kavanaugh.
    Let’s get the number two and three guy too.
    Let’s talk about racism and sexual assault after they resign!!

  • Citation please to Trump apologizing on such matters.

    His supporters are not known for their honesty. He is nothing but blanket excuses, denial and outright lying. Prove it.

    This is a person whose incompetence and malice is as excused by his supporters as “sticking it to liberals”.

    Fact is we have a leadership which is more obviously malicious and dishonest then we have seen in generations. It tickles down to supporters.

    I can’t give a crap about people who speak of as need for civility and unity on one hand and trying to gut people like a fish with the other.

  • CRUDDIE (in reaction to the news that “Virginia Governor Ralph Northam [of the Democratic Party seen photographed in] 1984 … dressed in blackface … to reinforce harmful stereotypes and poke fun at people of African descent … elicited immediate calls for his resignation”]: “[Look at] Sean Hannity … on the air saying its OK. Making excuses for it. … Republicans love racists”!!!!

    HpO: For further clarification, here’s the video version of what CRUDDIE meant to say: https://youtu.be/pJXFMIXx7iQ.

  • I bet if he’d had one too many and was photographed wearing a Trump hat, he’d have been forced to resign.

  • I don’t believe him for a moment. It’s self-serving, a ploy to keep from having to resign. He is a politician, he craves power and doesn’t want to give it up.

  • Dissonance isn’t broken by me doing it for you. There are multiple articles on a quick google search, esp from Oct ’16.

    Most political supporters are in the least biased to excuse their side. Or trash their political opposites. me included.

    Since when was honesty and competence ever associated with politics?

    Not that I don’t share your frustration with that, but politicians lie because they all know the truth doesn’t matter in persuasion. And from a purely effectiveness critique, Trump’s been above average on competence, which is why he continues to make progress.

    Frankly, the inability to recognize others intelligence, competence, and effectiveness is usually a sign of bias. It’s okay if you don’t like him. But ignoring such, is why he runs circles around the opposition.

  • Wow, snark and attack rather than trying to support your arguments. Total surprise there /s

    So no citation. I couldn’t find anything either which shows Trump’s ego even remotely has room for sincere (or convincing) apologies for past misdeeds. Typical Trumpie liar.

    “Trump’s been above average on competence, which is why he continues to make progress.”

    Progress? In what? He has made the US a laughingstock to the rest of the world. He tanks the economy out of temper tantrums, engages in bigoted panic appeals, and has used the position to personally profit in a way unseen since Warren Harding. His supporters blame a fictional conspiracy of “the deep state” to cover for his inability to perform some of the most basic tasks of the position. They are a rather irrational and uncritical lot.

    “Since when was honesty and competence ever associated with politics?”

    That is a stupid apologetic response. I see you don’t value honesty at all. You are saying you support a flat out liar for…reasons.
    Honesty and competence is something we expect from our leaders and are disappointed when it is not seen. You are refuting your prior statement by admitting he is neither honest nor competent, but you don’t care anyway. Lacking honesty and competence is not something we make excuses for and just ignore. Especially when it results in harm to those led. If you don’t expect better from them, you are part of the problem. Just enabling bad leadership.

    You clearly can’t find examples of intelligence, competence or effectiveness coming from him either. A sign of bias is when one makes terrible excuses for shortcomings and engages in cheap denial and attack rather than support their position.

  • Well, the opportunity is there for those who want to make this a moment when we really do examine how racism is embedded in the upbringing of our children, in schools, clubs/fraternities, in what looks like (and may be intended) as a light hearted joke but is steeped in debasement of some of our neighbors.

    You may not believe Northam, but you can use the opportunity this event presents to address the problem.

    Or, just call for the resignation and not really address the issue behind it. More silence.

  • No snark or attack intended. My apologies if you misunderstood.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/08/us/donald-trump-apology-statement.html

    Progress? In what? He has made the US a laughingstock to the rest of the world. He tanks the economy out of temper tantrums, engages in bigoted panic appeals, and has used the position to personally profit in a way unseen since Warren Harding. His supporters blame a fictional conspiracy of “the deep state” to cover for his inability to perform some of the most basic tasks of the position. They are a rather irrational and uncritical lot.

    That’s one movie. You should learn to watch both. It’s not only more enjoyable, it helps to be less dramatic or serious.
    For instance, in the other movie, Trump got his Wall funded today. In other news, he’s about out of 2 wars, avoided two others, and laying out a path for peace in the Mid East. How that all falls out in 6 more years…who knows yet.
    But that’s better than paying Iran billions.

    That is a stupid apologetic response.

    It wasn’t an apology. It’s the reality of politics. I don’t like it as much as you do. If you find a way to unenable it, let me know.

    by admitting he is neither honest nor competent,

    I never said he was honest. But he’s probably not any more or less than any other politician, much less you or me in reality. We just skew our context.

    I did argue he’s competent. I can also argue Obama was competent. Competence isn’t relative to liking what they’re competent about.

    Especially when it results in harm to those led.

    As in what?

    You clearly can’t find examples of intelligence, competence or effectiveness coming from him either.

    Like I said, breaking dissonance requires your own effort. A laundry list won’t prove it to you.

    A sign of bias is when one makes terrible excuses for shortcomings and engages in cheap denial and attack rather than support their position.

    So why are you condescending then?

  • Bingo!

    Power – purely—is what politics has always been about. They say politics is about “negotiation and compromise” – which is true enough if you keep in mind that it’s negotiation and compromise over power, its possession and distribution.

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