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LETTER: Virginia gov, attorney general should not resign

Marg Gotwald
Springettsbury Township
This image shows Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam’s page in his 1984 Eastern Virginia Medical School yearbook. The page shows a picture, at right, 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. (Eastern Virginia Medical School via AP)

My thoughts on the Virginia mess: The governor and attorney general who wore blackface decades ago, (it was racist, repugnant and stupid) should not resign, but apologize and — like the governor said — spend the rest of their terms working for racial equality, protecting the vote and protecting the rights of women.

Recent new, strong, pro-choice laws would be in jeopardy if they resign because the fourth person in succession is a conservative Republican, and Republicans are just drooling with glee about the prospect of Democrats falling on their own sword again.  

Polls in Virginia actually show that 60 percent of blacks want the governor to stay in office. That should be telling, since they are the ones who should be, and are, outraged and offended. But perhaps they understand that losing the Democratic leadership would be more problematic for them than the actions of stupid white men more than three decades ago.

When will we learn not to resign at the first hint of scandal, as Al Franken did? 

We need Virginia in the Democratic column prior to the 2020 election. All kinds of things could happen with a Republican governor in office. The vote needs to be protected. Yes, there will be an uncomfortable period of time if they stay in office, but their 2019 actions can ameliorate the damage. 

As for the optics of the lieutenant governor staying? He has been accused of sexual assault by now two women. That is a serious criminal offense, so his survivability is doubtful. The color of his skin is not a factor but it is a fact and incidental to events. 

I could get into what the man living in the White House has done, the list is long, and there has been no apology coming from him. But that's another long letter. 

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