What Northam should have said

“I am here to apologize for appearing in blackface during my collage days. Not realizing how offensive it was at the time was part and parcel of the racist culture that I grew up in and was a part of. It has taken me decades (decades!) to appreciate just how offensive that activity is.

Social justice is one of the primary reasons I joined the Democratic Party. Looking back on my past pains and embarrasses me but it is a necessary step in righting wrongs. Reckoning with our past sins is part of growing and becoming a better person. With education and exposure to different viewpoints people can change. And if people can change, societies can change. As your governor, as a member of the Democratic Party, I strive to be part of that change. Thank you.”

That took me all of A few minutes to type up and I’m incredibly rusty at writing. Keep in mind that even if he doesn’t believe this (and he clearly does not) he should have said it anyway. I’m only sort of joking when I ask if you can’t even count on your politician to lie, what kind of politician are they?

There are times that a political figure will have to, if not lie outright, say things they don’t completely agree with in order to advance party priorities. In this case, he should have said something along the lines I spelled out just to keep the morale and political capital of his party up. As it stands this incident is not only a personal setback but it has done a lot of damage to his party. A lot of that could have been mitigated by being contrite, asking for forgiveness, and then using it as a rallying point to motive forward. Would that have really been so hard?