|Agnes Moorehead on "The Wild Wild West" |
(I couldn't find a picture of her on "The Lone Ranger")
The same can be asked about Ralph Northam, the governor of Virginia, who may or may not be in the picture of a person in blackface standing next to another student dressed in a KKK robe on his page in his college yearbook. His case is a bit different because he screwed up in his confession. First he said it was him in that picture, then a few days later, he retracted and said "Ooops, my mistake, I am neither the guy in blackface nor the one in KKK hood. Sorry. But it's still awful, blackface is wrong. Let's move on." We still don't know for certain if it's really him, but calls for his resignation were swift and loud. The screaming has died down a bit and he's still in place, though his wife didn't help matters any when she gave out samples of cotton to African-American children on a school visit (evidently she was giving a history lesson on slavery.) If Northam had
|Virginia Govenor Ralph Northam and his wife|
But the main theme here is racism has reared its ugly head a lot ever since Trump was elected. His dog-whistle calls to his base and embrace of far-right nationalism have emboldened formerly fringe elements to push their way into the mainstream. A newspaper editor in Alabama wrote an editorial calling for the KKK to lynch liberal in DC (even if he was speaking metaphorically, it's still a horrifying thought.) He has since been fired and replaced by an African-American woman. On a recent visit to Houston, Texas, our hosts informed us that the Klan was active in a nearby small town. It's no longer socially unacceptable to be racist in America. When Obama was elected, I remember friends at dinner and pundits on TV actually saying "See, there is no more racism. We are in a post-racist world. Now, let's join hands and sing 'Kumbaya." At the time, I thought, "What fantasy land are you living in?" Turns out I was right. The racism didn't go away, it just stay buried for eight years.