MEMO TO: LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR JUSTIN FAIRFAX
FROM: JIM BACON
If you’re seriously interested in running for Governor, you’re not helping your case when you call former Governor Terry McAuliffe a racist, and, more inexplicably, when you call the African-American mayor of Richmond, Levar Stoney, a racist.
Sure, I get it: You’re angry about the sexual misconduct allegations filed against you by two women. You’re frustrated by the he-said/she-said nature of the charges and your inability to clear your good name. You’re resentful that McAuliffe called for your resignation as Lieutenant Governor a year ago, and it is a not unreasonable conjecture that McAuliffe, who may nurture a desire to run for governor again, was motivated by a desire to clear the field — if not for himself, then perhaps his protege Stoney.
You’re also furious at the role played by Stoney, one of his aides, and the aide’s wife in persuading one of the two accusers to go public. You won’t have trouble convincing anyone that Stoney, who has statewide political ambitions, found it politically advantageous to neuter another prominent African-American office holder who had his eye on the same prize.
But none of that makes them racist. You could plausibly argue that McAuliffe and Stoney are ruthless, amoral, sanctimonious scumbags. I’m not saying that, but such an interpretation is more in line with the facts that you’ve presented so far. If you had take that rhetorical course, many people would be inclined to believe you.
But racist? If that much-abused word has any meaning anymore, it signifies that someone is animated by bias or animus against African-Americans. One can accuse McAuliffe of many things, but harboring bilious feelings against African-Americans is not one of them. As for calling Stoney a racist… Stoney is black! What planet are you living on?
I presume that the Richmond Times-Dispatch provided an accurate rendering of your statement yesterday prompted by an earlier remark by former Vice President Joe Biden, who termed McAuliffe as the “once and future governor of Virginia.”
Voters will decide who the next governor is. Terry McAuliffe is a racist and Levar Stoney also is a racist and he’s doing the bidding of Terry McAuliffe. … Terry McAuliffe and Levar Stoney pushed false rape allegations against the black lieutenant governor of the commonwealth of Virginia and the voters are going to make them pay.
Any fair-minded person would conclude that you are saying that McAuliffe and Stoney are racist because they pushed rape allegations against a black lieutenant governor. In this formulation, their motivations, whether as pure as the driven snow or as cynical as we have come to expect from politicians, are not what make them racist. (Indeed, you have presented no evidence whatsoever of racial bias or animus.) What makes them racist is the fact that you, the victim of their accusations, are black. You appear to be using your blackness as a shield against allegations of any kind.
We have reached a point in our public discourse where people toss around accusations of racism quite easily. But you’re in a particularly delicate position. Two women have accused you of sexual assault. Some people contend that women should always be believed just because they are women. You quite rightly reject the absurdity of that argument. Their allegations should be judged false or truthful on the basis of the evidence they present. Given your predicament, one would think that you would position yourself as the calm, rational, judicious one. Instead, you have defended yourself by throwing out accusations even less substantiated than the allegations against you.
Believe me, that is not the path to the governorship of Virginia.There are currently no comments highlighted.