In a Washington Post interview from Saturday, Governor of Virginia Ralph Northam said that he is planning to target Confederate monuments that supposedly provoke “hatred” and “bigotry” for relocation to museums. He stated, “I will take a harder line. If there are statues, if there are monuments out there that provoke this type of hatred and bigotry, they need to be in museums.”
Governor Northam is desperately trying to stabilize his political career after the release of his medical school yearbook photo, depicting him in either blackface or a KKK robe.
Northam makes several comments in the interview addressing the persisting issues of racism gripping the state of Virginia, while still denying his personal expressions of racism on full display in his yearbook photo.
“It’s obvious from what happened this week that we still have a lot of work to do. There are still some very deep wounds in Virginia, and especially in the area of equity,”.
“There are ongoing inequities to access to things like education, health care, mortgages, capital, entrepreneurship. And so this has been a real, I think, an awakening for Virginia. It has really raised the level of awareness for racial issues in Virginia. And so we’re ready to learn from our mistakes.”
Northam lays out several initiatives that he says he plans to take action on regarding minorities in Virginia. One of which refers to the relocation of Confederate monuments to museums. According to The Post, Northam has flip-flopped on the issue of taking down Confederate monuments, reportedly once advocating for local governments to have the final decision in the matter, and now stating that he will “take a harder line” on Confederate monuments, and that, “If there are statues, if there are monuments out there that provoke this type of hatred and bigotry, they need to be in museums.”
The interviewer from The Post asked Northam if a portrait of former Virginia Governor Henry Wise, who was a supporter of the Confederacy and the institution of slavery, that was hanging in the parlor should be taken down. He responded, “Well, I think that’s an important part of history, and we need to tell all history,” and that “We have good history in Virginia . . . and we have history that’s not good and I don’t think we can shy away from any of it. We must tell it all, we must put it in perspective.”
His response to the interviewer’s question about the portrait gives mixed signals as to where the Governor actually stands on the issue of removing history to fit modern ideas of political correctness. Perhaps showing a contradiction between what Northam prepped to tell the interviewer, and what his actual thoughts and ideas are on the matter.
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