Compared to my last post, this one should be brief. It follows from the heterodox/orthodox discussion below. By heterodox, the people in the discussion below meant multiple ways of seeing an issue; by orthodox, they meant seeing only from one’s own point of view.
After two days of hurried conversation, it seems as if the orthodox lies in denouncing Ralph Northam. Protesting the denunciation of Northram seems outside the orthodox (in the heterodox). I’m going to take a chance and go there.
I have been listening to the TV panel discussions and reading the tweeted denunciations. I also watched Northam’s press conference. I should say, I am a newly arrived Virginian, so I don’t have much invested in the discussion.
I have a difficult time imagining that Northam was lying when he said neither character in the now-notorious yearbook photo was him. Surely, he would have to consider that one of the people in the photo might call him out on this lie (unless he knew that the other person in the photo was dead). As well, whoever was putting together that yearbook (there would have been several people) and probably the advisor might call him out.
So let me try a mind experiment. Let’s say neither character was him and he didn’t know about the photo (I never bought or looked at my university’s yearbook) until he saw it last night. Supposing whoever discovered this photo was engaging in oppositional research and thought this would be an effective way to nail Northam to the wall. Suppose, for instance, Northan has been opposing environmental destruction and the affected corporation, Dominion Utility, might have in some way encouraged oppositional research. I said: this is a mind experiment. Check out Trump’s “logic” in his tweet on the issue.
What if something like this were the case, and the most racially offensive act of Northam was to blackface and do the Michael Jackson moonwalk. I can see how a young Virginian at a military institute might have done this admittedly insensitive act in the mid-eighties. I might have known better, but I won’t swear I wouldn’t have done it. I can’t begin to tell you the insensitive, stupid things I did in my twenties.
I’m going to end with this thought: should we give criminals the right to vote after they have served their terms? Not calling Northam a criminal, but . . .