Tag Archives: Ralph Northam

Michael Medved: Northam, Democrats and the KKK

The Ralph Northam case illustrates, among many other things, the long entanglement of the Democratic Party with the Ku Klux Klan. In the same year that Northam posted his hateful yearbook photo of a clown in blackface next to a figure in a KKK hood, the Democratic leader in the US Senate was a former Klan leader: Robert Byrd of West Virginia. He led the Democrats in the Senate for 8 years, from 1981 to ’89, even though he wrote to a US Senator during World War II: “I shall never fight in the armed forces with a negro by my side” or allow America to be “degraded by race mongrels, a throwback to the blackest specimen from the wilds.”

In contrast to Democratic embrace of Byrd, when former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke ran for Louisiana Governor as a Republican in 1991, leaders of the GOP, statewide and nationally, united to ensure his defeat.

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Michael Medved: Did a Double Standard Protect Northam?

Regarding the hateful image connected to Governor Ralph Northam, Virginia Democrat, it doesn’t matter whether he’s the figure in blackface, the one in Klan costume, or neither one of them.

He IS the one who chose to place that photograph on his personal page in his medical school yearbook. Among just four photos he used to define his personality, he chose one that recycles racist stereotypes while trivializing murderous violence.

In Northam’s own lifetime, the Klan had committed bombings and shootings of civil rights workers throughout the South. Conservative Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh was taken to task for stupid references to beer in his high school yearbook when he was 15; but no one in press or politics ever exposed Northam for treating racist violence like a joke when he was 25.

There’s a double standard at work that needs to end.

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