Readers React: Northam’s defenders cry unfairness. What about the crushing unfairness borne by victims of white supremacy?

Protesters call for Gov. Ralph Northam’s resignation in Richmond, Va., on Feb. 4.
(Shelby Lum / AP)

To the editor: Virginia office holders facing the consequences of their blackface mockery of our nation’s history of slavery, Reconstruction subversion, domestic terrorism, Jim Crow and the current incarceration era provide the Democratic Party an opportunity to establish a standard to which elected officials are held accountable for white supremacy behavior.

The political disruption caused by holding firm to intolerance pales in comparison to the brutality and inhumanity directed at many minorities. Only when we all suffer from the methods of maintaining white supremacy will there be sufficient national movement for real change.

Douglas Braun-Harvey, San Diego



To the editor: I would bet 30 years ago almost all of us made terrible jokes that were racially or sexually inappropriate.

The people of Virginia should look at Gov. Ralph Northam‘s record in the last 30 years. Behavior that he participated in in college as he was beginning to develop his current philosophies have obviously been abandoned for his present political and social perspective.

All people evolve morally. Only within the last few years have we faced sexual harassment so vigorously.

The proper thing to ask of people like Northam is to demonstrate who they are today.


Linda Bradshaw, Los Angeles


To the editor: The argument made by Northam’s supporters that his offensive yearbook photo was from “another time” makes me furious.

The 1980s? Come on.

The civil rights movement began in the 1950s; by the time of the Greensboro sit-ins in 1960 and Martin Luther King Jr.’s huge movement, most people got the message.

But in the ’80s? And he still thought it was OK? Give me a break. It wasn’t even OK in the ’60s — or any time.

Lee Chemel, Los Angeles

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