Ralph Northam must also be ready to listen

ralph northamGov. Ralph Northam says he wants to lead a discussion on racial healing. Virginia Tech’s Brandy Faulkner says he’s simply not prepared to have these very serious conversations.

“Gov. Northam is not capable of leading that conversation,” said Faulkner, a visiting assistant professor at Virginia Tech’s College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences. “It’s a very serious subject with a long and painful history across the entire state. Each time the governor speaks, he causes more harm.  Now is the time for him to take a step back, listen to those who have been directly affected by his words and actions, and acknowledge that he needs time to learn. A good leader must also be a good listener.”

Revelations about the past racist behavior by Virginia’s governor, attorney general and a top state senator have touched a raw nerve, and are showing few signs of fading.

“We don’t know what effect this will have on the next General Assembly elections, but I think there will be consequences,” said Faulkner. “But, it’s still relatively early to know how severe those consequences will be. All eyes are on Virginia right now, and there is no doubt that the state’s image is suffering.”

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The book, with additional reporting by Scott Ratcliffe and Zach Pereles, will take you from the aftermath of the stunning first-round loss to UMBC in 2018, and how coach Tony Bennett and his team used that loss as the source of strength, through to the ACC regular-season championship, the run to the Final Four, and the thrilling overtime win over Texas Tech to win the 2019 national title, the first in school history.
 
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