Virginia scandals arise in response to political campaigning


Photo used with permission of Tribune News Service.

Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring makes one of his first appearances in his office in 2014, where he has served for the last five years.

Political scandals have arisen in Virginia alongside the campaigning for political positions in the elections for governor in 2021. Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring, and Governor Ralph Northam have been in the news for bearing “black face” costumes.

Herring admitted to wearing brown makeup and a wig to dress up like a rapper by the name of Kurtis Blow for a party. Northam was one of the top editors of the Onancock High School yearbook where a picture of a student is wearing a blackface standing next to a student in a Klan costume. He has been accused of wearing the black face presented in the photo.

Lt. Governor Justin E. Fairfax is also under scandal for allegedly sexually assaulting two woman. One accused him of doing so in 2004. Virginia democrats are currently in a tough spot for the governor elections of 2021.

For the past couple years, the number of sexual misconduct scandals have increased dramatically.

Like the case with Herring and Northam, some of the events in question have happened many years ago. Nevertheless, the media tends to sensationalize the details. Each political figure is dismissing the idea to resign, an action that they were pushing towards one another in an attempt to aid their elections.

The allegations against Herring and Northam for something they did over 30 years ago should not result in their decision on whether or not to resign. While what they did was obviously wrong, it should be taken into account that they were very young adults at the time.

What is hard about the situation in Virginia is that all three of these men are charged with some kind of scandal. Where can the line be drawn to define which of these acts are more harrowing then the other, and should result in resignation.

Any type of sexual misconduct proven against the offender with valid evidence is of much more importance than a couple of new adults running around in college dressing up in racist ways.

Dressing up in racist ways does not promote or bear any violence nor physical pain to anyone. It can however hurt people mentally and it does promote racism which is obviously an issue. Wearing black face in the past should not define the nature of anyone 30-40 years later.

On the contrary, sexual assault is of much more importance. This action can have lasting affects on the victim in many ways. Both mental and physical affects from injury to anxiety and depression can occur from this event. If proven guilty, Fairfax is in trouble with the law, and not just in ethics.

Again, what Herring admits to doing and what Northam is accused of is terrible in itself, but at the time Virginia was much more discriminatory towards African Americans. I do not want to say it was normal for black face, but it did occur much more often then.

The Virginia politician to pay attention to would be Fairfax as his allegations are much more serious than that of Herring and Northam, at least until he has been convicted or acquitted. When the verdict is brought up, everything will play its way out. The law will be enforced one way or another.