Governor Northam: Should He Be Held Accountable for Past Actions?-

From left, Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, Attorney General Mark Herring and Gov. Ralph Northam have each found themselves engulfed in scandals. Credit Bob Brown/Richmond Times-Dispatch, via Associated Press

From left, Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, Attorney General Mark Herring and Gov. Ralph Northam have each found themselves engulfed in scandals. Credit Bob Brown/Richmond Times-Dispatch, via Associated Press

Early last week, an old Eastern Virginia Medical School yearbook picture from the 1980s was leaked to the public. In the picture, it is allegedly Governor Northam and a fellow classmate, one dressed in black face and the other dressed in a KKK uniform. When the photo was first released to the public, Northam came out and apologized for his actions. The following day, he said he had come to the conclusion it was not him in the photo. Now Democrats and Republicans from all over the country are coming out and saying he needs to step down from his position. They are worried that he will not be able to accomplish his gubernatorial duties with the media and other outlets bringing up his past and be the best representative for the Commonwealth of Virginia.

The question is now, should Gov. Northam be held accountable for actions he may or may have not taken 30 years ago?  CHC students were asked this question, and the response was clear.  Liz Bowles (‘19) said, “Yes, I do think he should be held accountable for his actions. Whenever I do something in my daily life, I think about how it could impact my future.”  Sadie Cohen (‘21) agreed with Liz in that she too believes he should be held accountable. Virginia has quite an issue to determine if he is in the photo and if it prevents him from doing his job for the citizens of the state. Jamie Friedman (‘19) shared, “I believe there should be no tolerance in government for anything relating to racism. At this time, I do not have enough clear information to make a statement on whether Northam should step down or not. The media has made parts of the story unclear to the public.”

In addition to Governor Northam’s controversial photograph, two more scandals have plagued Virginia politics.  Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax has been accused of sexually assaulting a woman in 2004. Attorney General Mark Herring came forward saying he too had taken part in “blackface” when he was a younger man. Many people are concerned about the future of the Governor seat for Virginia. One anonymous CHC male Upper School student said, “If politicians were not so worried about being politically correct, then maybe the country would not continue to become more segregated over issues like these.”  As of now, it’s very unclear what will happen in regards to the governor’s seat for Virginia because of all of the various scandals going on with Virginia lead politicians.