Northam Seeking “Diversity and Inclusion” Officer

Governor Ralph Northam is looking for a new senior-level official to promote diversity and inclusion within state government, reports the Richmond Times-Dispatch. The new employee will report directly to the governor and his chief of staff.

Among the qualifications listed in the job description: the “understanding of systemic and institutional bias.” States the RTD:

The director will be responsible for developing a plan to promote inclusive practices and address system inequities in state government. The person who fills the post will be tasked with “promoting diversity and fostering an inclusive environment throughout state government where employees feel a sense of belonging.”

Questions: In what way is Virginia state government infected with “systemic and institutional bias”? Are we to believe that the Virginia state government apparatus, which has been run by Democrats for four of the past five gubernatorial administrations, is riddled with racism? I know the political justification for this appointment — Northam is trying to atone for his blackface scandal. But is there a factual justification — as in actual evidence of bias — for creating the office? If there is, why haven’t we seen it?

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14 responses to “Northam Seeking “Diversity and Inclusion” Officer

  1. I’m starting to think that the words are buzzwords that no one can really define, has a clue was they are, but certainly looks good on a resume.

  2. What a waste of DNA. Northam is in a class with Richard Nixon, Bill & Hillary Clinton.

    To cover up his own racist history, Northam is effectively condemning Mark Warner, Tim Kaine and Terry McAuliffe. I didn’t vote for any of those gentlemen but I hardly think they presided over a government that is systematically racist. This condemnation is simply wrong. Northam becomes more disgusting every day. Too bad Dante is not alive. He’d have devoted three Cantos to Northam.

  3. The history of institutional racism, segregation and subjugation in the Old Dominion is long. The State Government is part of the culture and laws of the state. It would be an interesting exercise to go through this history and specifically lay out the role of state government employees specifically vs all the other Virginians during this time in business and civil society. I doubt it was any different. I think that is splitting hairs and that this yes is a political move but it also is an attempt to address the real history. Maybe leading by example?

    Certainly, the state leads in Confederate iconography and it is not even close.

    • So why didn’t Northam start his program immediately upon taking office? Why didn’t he campaign on the issue? Ralph Northam got caught and rather than man-up, he’s trying to paint everyone one with the racist brush. He’s the lowest form of human being.

      And I have no Confederate sympathies as two of my 2nd great grandfathers fought for the Union to defeat you Virginia slaveholders.

  4. yeah – I’m not exactly impressed by white guys questioning ” institutional racism? what institutional racism?” even as the Virginia General Assembly votes to prohibit the removal of “lost cause” symbols put up by the United Daughters of the Confederacy and we have schools, roads and other public buildings with Confederate Generals names to be “remembered”.

    Institutional racism in Virginia ? The heck you say. Well of course we have a long and rich history of it but now it’s gone – all gone – trust me, all we have now is “very fine people”.

  5. In the quest for inclusion and the destruction of institutional discrimination will we also start moving towards the removal of memorials and statues of those who did not support gays or the right of gay marriage?
    I imagine this would include Barack Obama and even Dr. King. Or any guy or woman who has ever uttered gay slanders or listened to music using gay slanders (like almost any gangsta rap of the 90s).
    My point is this is all a slippery slope and has no end.
    How about institutional anti-semitism? What about anyone who has ever went to a Redskins game or has Redskins memorialbilia? Are they now convicted in a court of public opinion? Why does Kaine live on Confederate Avenue, is he a white nationalist? Since the tomahawk chop is racist, FSU fans use it so they are racist, UVA welcomes FSU to their campus, therefore does UVA actively support the oppression of Native Americans? Was their National Championship predicated on the oppression of Native Americans? The logic seems to wrap up a lot of people in certain context.

  6. And if the Governor really wants to go all in why hasn’t he started with his Alma mater? There is a whole museum to clean out, portraits to remove, halls to rename, and culture to change.
    Better yet shutter it.
    Why does Virginia need to publically support a war college and white man traditions? We could in its place start a Virginia Inclusionary Institue and begin the process of replacing Virginia’s reliance on the military industrial complex with a reliance on love and oppressionless politics enjoyed by people around the world free from the bonds of whiteness.
    And it could be free, paying students are just a western construct.

  7. Why address systemic racism when we can be hyperbolic? Amirite?

    • You have things upside down, are living in wrong century, chasing long dead ghosts, while your create new myths based on ignorance and hate. Best you make yourself aware of what is going on in the real world, instead of your imaginary one. For example, Jim Bacon’s comment found at:

      “If we’re looking for “root causes” of poverty and social dysfunction, child abuse is surely one of the most important. That is where we, as a society, should be devoting more attention and resources. What we get instead is top-of-the-front-page articles like that in the Richmond Times-dispatch today bemoaning the “racial disparity” in Richmond city police field data reports. Maybe the newspaper should focus on real problems like the disastrous management of child protective services in Virginia.”

      • Or, you know, we could do both.

        BTW, what comes first: the abused child or the abusive parent? What makes parents so angry? Could it be societal and economic stresses? Asking for a friend…

        • “What makes parents so angry? Could it be societal and economic stresses? “

          I think that’s a fair question. Indeed, I think it is the fundamental philosophical question of our age.

          Perhaps we should listen to the child/spouse abusers themselves and hear how they explain their behavior. Right now we have a lot of politicians and pundits — on both sides of the political divide — who have a lot of theories based upon their ideological proclivities. Let’s hear from the people who know better than anyone.

  8. The vastly disproportionate arresting of African American for simple marijuana possession vs whites is an example of systemic racism. The police heavily patrol high crime (often black majority) areas to try to prevent violent and property crime. In so doing, they come across African Americans smoking or possessing marijuana. All studies indicate no statistical difference between whites and blacks regarding the recreational use of marijuana. However, it’s the black teenager who is vastly more likely to be arrested for possession than the white teenager.

    The road to hell is lined with good intentions and idiotic Republican legislators.

    As a reminder, in 2018 a marijuana decriminalization bill was voted on by the full Senate Courts of Justice Committee. In 2019 the Republicans engineered a subcommittee to block the 2019 version of the bill from going to the full committee. For those interested in ending this bit of systemic racism in Virginia, here are the heroes and zeroes from the 2018 committee vote….

    Heroes. Senators voting for decriminalization of small amounts of marijuana: Creigh Deeds, D-Bath; John Edwards, D-Roanoke; Janet Howell, D-Fairfax; Louise Lucas, D-Portsmouth; Chap Petersen, D-Fairfax City; and Dick Saslaw, D-Fairfax.

    Zeroes. Senators voting against decriminalization: Ben Chafin, R-Russell; Ryan McDougle, R-Hanover; Tommy Norment, R-Mars; Mark Obenshain, R-Rockingham; Mark Peake, R-Lynchburg; Bryce Reeves, R-Spotsylvania; Bill Stanley, R-Franklin County; Richard Stuart, R-Stafford; and Glen Sturtevant, R-Richmond.

    Shame on every one of those Republican clowns. May they all be replaced this November.

    • I don’t have a problem with decriminalization of the possession and use of small amounts of marijuana. It makes sense to me. I could support going further but that’s beyond the scope of the question.

      How much of an impact would decriminalization have on reducing the intersection of law enforcement (specifically arrests) in the African American community? If we stopped arresting black teens for smoking and possessing marijuana, would much of the discrepancy in arrests by race be fixed in Virginia? And how would we know either way?

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