Governor Ralph Northam clearly does not have a current record that shows him to be, in any sense of the word, racist. However, he did something that was stupid. That said, it was not unforgivable. But the way he handled it made it unconscionable, therefore, he must resign.
Clearly, dressing up in any outfit deemed racist is just plain dumb. We have seen pictures of white men and women wearing blackface and dressing up in Ku Klux Klan outfits for Halloween far too often. Clearly, it is even dumber to let someone take a picture of you dressed in such a manner.
When someone has done something dumb, the only way you can be forgiven for it is to come clean about the past behavior and apologize profusely. Racist people MUST be given an opportunity to come clean about their past racist behavior. They must be given an opportunity to ask for forgiveness. They must be allowed to take action to clean up such behavior. Most people who are racist have been raised by racist parents or in a racist environment. Presented with evidence that counters their racist beliefs, they need an opportunity to be forgiven. If they are not given that opportunity, it will slow the dissipation of racism in our world.
We need to have more conversations about racism. White people like myself have very little understanding or acceptance of how racism affects individuals who are anything but white. The only reason I have a better understanding is because I open myself up to discussing it.
Hiding your racist past in the hope that no one finds out about it. Enough said.
Running for political office when you have a racist past from which you are trying to hide.
Only One Option
Governor Ralph Northam must resign. He had a racist past which he was not open about. When he chose to run for office, he had to know this is something that might come out. However, he chose to try to hide it anyway. No matter how much you may have made amends for your past ways, one must be open about their own past and allow the voters to make a decision one way or another.
One must lay it out - and not just the positive - but everything. "This is what I have done, this is what I have done to fix it, this is what I intend to do in the future."
The voters decide - not the person who made the dumb mistake. Governor Northam, you made a dumb mistake which you tried to hide. Now, you must pay the price for it.