And yet Steve King is still in congress
Republicans are dancing on Virginia Governor Ralph Northam's grave, smirking, laughing and gleefully declaring him a terrible racist who cannot be tolerated. They don't mean it, of course. After all, half of their national officials are racist including the president. Of course they don't mean it.
And keep in mind that this story was just published two weeks ago --- about the only black official in the Virginia government, Lt Governor Justin Fairfax, who stepped out of the chamber while the legislature lauded the confederacy:
Heaping praise on Lee is nothing unusual in the former capital of the Confederacy. For most of the United States, Friday was the last workday before the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday weekend. In Virginia, it was a state holiday: Lee-Jackson Day.
The General Assembly works through both the Lee-Jackson and MLK holidays, and elected officials from both parties have traditionally used the occasions to tip their hats to the Confederates and King alike. Comedian Stephen Colbert lampooned the Virginia Senate in 2013 for adjourning its MLK Day session in honor of Confederate Gen. Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson — on a motion from a Democrat, state Sen. R. Creigh Deeds of Bath.
Such tributes have become more politically fraught in recent years amid the push to remove monuments and rename schools and roads honoring Confederate leaders.
Sen. Richard H. Stuart (R-King George) marked Lee’s 212th birthday with praise for “a great Virginian and a great American.”...In his speech Friday, Stuart tried to separate Lee from the issue of slavery, noting the general’s efforts to bring about reconciliation after the war.
“I rise to celebrate his birthday because he was a great Virginian and a great American, and not because it has anything to do with slavery,” Stuart said. “I celebrate Lee on his birthday because he was a man with the strength of his convictions and that is a rare trait, either in yesteryear or today.
“He was a man that personified integrity, honor and commitment to duty, a selfless man that devoted his entire life to the service of his country, either in battle or in teaching people to be good citizens, and a man who always did what he thought was right,” Stuart said. “There were few people after the Civil War who did what Lee did to heal the wounds of this country and to try to reunite this country after that horrible war.”
Republicans have retired the concept of hypocrisy and shame (at least as pertains to themselves) so it's useless to point this out in the hopes that they will STFU. But I still think it's important to keep a record. With the proliferation of propaganda in our society it's easy to get confused and forget what's really going on. In this case, Northam will eventually have to vacate his office because he can no longer do his job without the support of his party and the electorate, which will not tolerate having such leaders in this position. The rest of the racists in the GOP will continue to win their offices at least partly because of their racism. That's the status quo at the moment.
As Jamelle Bouie writes in the New York Times today we have a long way to go.