In light of recent findings about his past behavior, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam must immediately step down for the good of his constituents and for the greater society. The discovery of an old yearbook photograph depicting someone, possibly a younger Mr. Northam, in “black face” while posing next to a person in a Klansman costume has shocked his constituents both at home and abroad. Voters of the Commonwealth living in all parts of the world – regardless of political preferences – deserve to have elected officials in 2019 who reject hatred, racial inequality, and social situations where degrading someone because of his or her skin color is somehow considered “jokingly” acceptable.
For this reason, the Democrats Abroad Hispanic Caucus believes there has been an indisputable breach of the public’s trust, and therefore stands with our brothers and sisters in the Virginia Democrats’ Latino Caucus in demanding the governor’s resignation. While not as widely known, Hispanic-Americans have also for over a century faced hate crimes and racism from white supremacist groups.
Furthermore, the state’s Attorney General, Mark Herring, who also faces a questionable past of racial indiscretions, should also immediately vacate office for the same reason. While these revelations about the governor and attorney general have made it impossible for them to lead effectively both as public servants and role models of the values that the Democratic Party strives to project, we will closely monitor the latest news stemming from the lieutenant governor’s situation.
Both Latinx Virginians living overseas and the global Democrats Abroad Hispanic Caucus strongly believe there must be a consistent high standard of behavior expected from our elected officials. If we are to make progress as a society on the deep and sensitive issue of race, there can be no exception.