augusta free press news

What ever happened to all those calls for Ralph Northam to resign?

history united states
(© jStock –

A Twitter exchange between a Washington Post reporter and a MAGA sycophant got me thinking about the people who called for Gov. Ralph Northam to resign last year.

How this came about was the Trump acolyte, Charlie Kirk, tweeted about the story involving Oklahoma State football coach Mike Gundy and his One America Network T-shirt.

The One America Network, for those of you blessed by not having to have wasted brain cells on knowing anything about it, is an online news platform that caters to people who think Fox News is too mainstream, which, yeah, this is actually a thing in 2020.

Gundy, aligning himself with OAN via a photo on social media, has come under fire, most notably from his team’s star tailback, Chuba Hubbard, and calls for his dismissal have been gaining steam.

OK, so, Kirk, playing defense, as diehards on Twitter are wont to do, made the observation that “(t)here are more calls from the left for a football coach to be fired for wearing an OAN shirt than there are for a Democrat (g)overnor who wore (b)lackface.”

The story there, to refresh: on Feb. 1, 2019, a conservative blogger published a photo from Northam’s medical school yearbook that featured two men in racist garb – blackface and a KKK costume.

After first acknowledging that he was in the photo, Northam backtracked and said he had been mistaken, that he wasn’t in the photo, and that’s been his story on the matter since.

So, back to our story with the Charlie Kirk tweet, and we now welcome Aaron Blake, a senior political reporter at the Post, who retweeted with comment a list of political figures, including Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, Mark Warner, Tim Kaine and several more, who had called for Northam to resign.

We at Augusta Free Press also called for Northam to resign. Not that we should be on a list from a Post reporter that includes this year’s presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, the 2016 nominee, the 2016 VP nominee, a sitting U.S. senator.

We’re just, you know, little ol’ AFP.

I bring us up as being another who called on Northam to resign because I know that we never retracted our position, and after a long weekend of posting statement after statement from anybody and everybody in Virginia politics who also called for the governor to step down, I don’t remember – and can’t find in our archives – that anybody else retracted, either.

The only things I can find in my work using the Googler is a Post story from June 2019 that noted obliquely in reference to Northam’s earlier predicament that “most never retracted their calls for him to step down.”

There was also this other story that painted an unflattering picture of Terry McAuliffe awkwardly walking around the issue, but then, that’s par for the course for The Macker.

Instinct from being a journalist for 25 years tells me that somebody could have some serious fun with this, trying to track down everybody who had joined the Northam resignation parade to put them on the record for how they stand on that now.

My best guess is the effort would lead to a ton of no comments or just no responses, because really, there’s no way to answer that one without getting dragged down into the muck.

So, if you’re a spokesperson for a Virginia pol reading this and sweating over getting an email from me asking you to go on the record on Northam, breathe.

Just know that I know that your guy or gal is still out there flapping in the breeze on this, and yeah, it’s awkward as hell, on all counts, considering what we’re dealing with right now in terms of the renewed push for racial justice and equality of opportunity.

As a reader so pleasantly pointed out to me in an email this morning, I’m a liberal Democrat hack, so when I say, this unresolved stuff with Northam is a pox on our house, it’s not Charlie Kirk saying it, if that makes sense.

I wrote a column a few days ago suggesting that Northam needs to confront his racist past.

I’m thinking we as Democrats might need to start confronting our own issues with Northam and his issues with his racist past, which we now, unfortunately, have to own.

Story by Chris Graham

augusta free press
augusta free press