Back in Black

Last week, the Democrat governor of Virginia Ralph Northam went on the radio defending an abortion bill which appeared to legalise infanticide:

The paediatric neurologist said the measure allowed termination “in cases where there may be severe deformities” or when there is a “foetus that’s not viable” outside the womb.

“So in this particular example, if a mother’s in labour, I can tell you exactly what would happen,” he told WTOP’s Ask the Governor programme Wednesday.

“The infant would be delivered, the infant would be kept comfortable, the infant would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desired. And then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother.”

This generated outrage in conservative circles and a dismissive shrug among liberals. It wasn’t until a picture emerged in the 1984 East Virginia Medical School yearbook a day or two later that the left went into meltdown:

Quite why there is a picture of a man in blackface beside someone dressed as a KKK member in a medical school yearbook I don’t know. Northam hasn’t provided much clarity either: first he apologised without saying whether he was Mr Blackface or Mr KKK, then he backtracked and said he isn’t in the photo but he did black up on another occasion, but only to impersonate Michael Jackson.

Here’s my take. As everyone here knows I went to Manchester University, which has a large medical school. I knew a handful of medics and they were all nuts. Their philosophy was to work hard and play hard. You’d not see them during much of the semester as they were in various placements or putting in stupid hours somewhere, then one night the student bars would be invaded by a horde of them wearing white gowns and stethoscopes. They’d dance like maniacs, drink themselves into oblivion, and would often be open to taking someone home before hooking themselves up to a saline drip to stave off the inevitable hangover. Having spoken to several medics who went to other schools around the UK, this behaviour seems typical. Also common are tales of pranks and acts of stupidity medical students get up to, especially around cadavers. All of this is a way of coping with a job which is usually difficult and often unpleasant. So if a bizarre photo turns up in a medical yearbook from 1984, I’m not going to be very surprised.

Do I think such a photo is in itself proof that Northam is, or was, racist? No I don’t. Insensitive maybe, but medical students aren’t the most delicate of people as I’ve already explained and I’m old-fashioned in that I think there’s a big difference between offensive humour in your twenties which you later realise was in rather poor taste, and genuine racism. But in the last few years blackface – which is something I’d never heard of until recently – is now up there with child sacrifice as something for which you can never be forgiven. Actually, that’s a poor comparison: American liberals don’t appear to mind child sacrifice as the reaction to Northam’s radio appearance showed, but blackface is really beyond the pale. Ahem.

As such, we’ve seen all the white grannies of the Democrat party – Elizabeth Warren, Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi – queuing up to denounce him and demand his resignation. At some point they’ll be held to account over their hideous whiteness, and they’re doing all they can to burnish their anti-racist credentials while bashing someone from the rival sex. Naturally, any Democrat or liberal duskier than Keira Knightley is not only looking to throw Northam under the bus, but to reverse back over him and apply the handbrake. Equally naturally, you have a bunch of Republicans furrowing their brows and saying “we’re better than them” and “we shouldn’t stoop to their level” when contemplating calling for his resignation.

In actual fact, the Republicans shouldn’t call for his resignation over this photo. Not because of principles – this is a war to the knife in which anything goes – but because it’s unnecessary. As we’ve seen, the Democrats are tearing him apart for them. They’d be better off keeping their mouths shut and asking themselves why, when Northam was running campaign adverts depicting Republicans running down Latinos in pickup trucks, they didn’t unearth this photo. What was Ed Gillespie’s research team doing? And, redundantly, what were the press doing? How long have they known about this photo?

So there’s no need for Republicans to pretend to be upset over a dumb photo, especially given Northam has a 35 year track record on which to judge him instead. Republicans, and sane liberals, need to prepare themselves for inevitable attacks which will come from unearthing dodgy photos and yearbook scribblings in future. They should do this by poking their opponents in the eye and refusing to play the game.

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19 thoughts on “Back in Black

  1. I used to hope that in another 15 to 20 years, if not before, generations that grew up with the Internet will look at stuff like this and shrug, muttering that we were all young once.

    Sadly it looks more likely to go the other way with as we have a growing industry of vengeful grievance studies archivists hell bent on unearthing trivia and making a political mountain out of it.

  2. I hope the trannies never find my high school yearbooks. Especially the ones where I’m dressed up as a woman. Mind you, it was for G&S operettas.

  3. Republicans’ reaction to that radio interview regarding abortion did exactly what the Democrats did with the Covington kids. They completely missed the point of what he was saying, then ran around with their hair on fire.

    Scott Adams tried to explain on one of his Periscope broadcasts what it was the Governor had said, but his audience wasn’t having it. He lost a thousand subscribers over it.

    I suspect, but I don’t know, that it was also Republican grievance archeologists who dug up that yearbook photo.

  4. Henry,

    Obviously any pxrson who self- identifies as a man and has ever played Widow Twanky in panto now needs to be defenestrated.

    But the wxmen who have played Robin Hood in panto were however merely being empowered.

  5. In the UK, blackface is one of the worst crimes against humanity, yet those wishing to emulate their duskier neighbours can still get away with blackvoice. It’s definitely still cool to pepper one’s conversation with words from the ghetto, and many blue-eyed blond kids in London still talk with a strong West Indian accent when the mood is upon them.

  6. PST’s comment made me realise d had a senior moment and wrote archivist when I meant archaeologist.

  7. Sane liberals? Surely an oxymoron?

    However if you ARE going to do blackface, make sure you go ALL the way, like this … errr … creature:

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-6662543/Martina-Big-identifies-black-reveals-plans-permanently-Africa.html

    Nuttier than squirrel shit.

    Getting back to the abortion thing, from the discussions I have seen and the original speech, he is advocating post birth execution of unwanted babies. I know the Romans did not consider that a child was a person until age 5 and could be disposed of as the father saw fit up to that age but they also had the Games in the Flavian Amphitheatre so their sensibilities may not coincide with modern practice.

    If a woman has not made a decision about the child after 9 months then I would deem her incapable of making any such decision and put the child up for adoption.

  8. As a graduate of said medical school I can only give credence to Mr Newman’s scurrilous, but entirely truthful, allegations.

    As a teacher of medics, I can also confirm that even the lady trainees can routinely drink me under the table of their choice.

  9. @Pcar – thanks but no thanks. It was bad enough reading the newspaper article without wishing to hear Martina Big spouting off “live” so to speak.

    I would honestly say that she is clinically insane by any measure. But that’s just me I suppose.

  10. I know the Romans did not consider that a child was a person until age 5 and could be disposed of as the father saw fit

    One thing that tends to get missed in the abortion debate is that most societies throughout history have had some culturally accepted way of disposing of unwanted or unsupportable infants. The ancient Greeks had exposure, the Romans the patria potestas, most of medieval Europe left foundlings at the church doorstep (“foundlings” – it happened so frequently there’s a word for it). Plus infant mortality carried off so many children that there’s a sense by some historians that pre-modern cultures may simply not have valued the lives of children as much as we do; no sense getting attached, and all that.

    So infanticide isn’t some new horror made possible by advancements in medical science; it’s always been around. It’s just safer for the mother and can be done long before birth now. Personally, I tend to think that there are lots of things, like slavery and shitting in the street, that we ought to leave behind now that we have the technological sophistication to do so and infanticide is one of them.

  11. “that pre-modern cultures may simply not have valued the lives of children as much as we do; “

    Dunno if it’s a myth or not, but the Victorians are supposed to have “invented” the concept of childhood.

  12. Dunno if it’s a myth or not, but the Victorians are supposed to have “invented” the concept of childhood.

    It’s certainly a recent concept. In ye olden days there were two types of person:

    1. Suckling infants who needed to be minded.
    2. People who worked.

    Children were routinely sent to work the fields or mind livestock almost as soon as they could walk. Only once society got rich enough did they decide there would be a period between ages 4 and 16 where children could concentrate on education and having fun.

  13. I’m not of a mind to establish a double-standard where you receive understanding and forgiveness if you’re Democrat, and get burnt at the stake if Republican. Down that path lies an even worse set of public commons than we have now, because a great deal of the problem with the Democratic Party stems from the fact that the mainstream media here in the US has taken the position that a Democrat can do no wrong–And, that’s led the Democrats into a whole host of things that they would never have gotten up to, had anyone shone any light on their activities.

    You want accountability in government, and to know when your politicians are doing crooked and questionable things? Your only real choice in the US is to vote for a Republican, and filter out about 90% of the accusations raised by the media, because they’re made up.

    Hell, look at how they frame everything: Democrat is caught doing something, and it’s “Senator X, caught with a live boy and a dead girl…”. If it’s a Republican, what you’ll hear is “Republican Senator Y, from the Republican Party, found with a Young Republican intern doing Republican-style Republican things in a Republican-owned Republican hotel…”.

    This is not a healthy thing. Note, too, that CNN had a chyron up identifying Northam as a Republican for quite awhile…

    Where we’re heading is a situation where nobody believes a damn thing they hear on the news, and that’s a huge problem for a republican democracy that relies on an informed and engaged electorate.

  14. “Hell, look at how they frame everything: Democrat is caught doing something, and it’s “Senator X, caught with a live boy and a dead girl…”. If it’s a Republican, what you’ll hear is “Republican Senator Y, from the Republican Party, found with a Young Republican intern doing Republican-style Republican things in a Republican-owned Republican hotel…”.”

    Classic example:

    https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-02-04/wapo-defends-decision-mothball-graphic-sex-assault-claim-against-virginia-lt-gov

    Black Democrat Governor is accused of forcing woman to give him a BJ in a hotel room, admits he was in the room but says it was consensual, Washington Post decides not to print the story as ‘there’s no corroborating evidence’. But is happy to print all manner of uncorroborated claims against Brett Kavanaugh……..

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