Away for a few days to a warmer climate (yes, it was nice). I’ve done some quick catching-up on recent topics. (The Republican education bill will have to wait for more developments.)
Mike Myer is still fighting racism (as long as it isn’t the Republican version of it)
Most of Editor Myer’s Sunday column, “Not at All Funny Or Acceptable,” is devoted to Virginia’s Democratic governor, Ralph Northam, and his attempts to play down the racism attached to yearbook pictures from his days in medical school. The pictures have recently surfaced, and they show Northam and other medical students in KKK outfits and blackface.
Myer is right to call the photos “objectionable” and he certainly is correct that we “still have a race problem in America.” My problem with this and other Myer columns on racism, as well as Ogden editorials on the subject, is that racism, when it isn't anecdotal, appears to be solely a Democratic problem; Republican examples of racism apparently don’t exist.
Myer begins his column with a hypothetical:
Imagine responding to the doorbell some Halloween night, opening the front door and finding in front of you a youngster dressed as a Native American from the late 1700s, holding a doll smeared in blood.
“So, who are you?” “I’m a Shawnee warrior” he might respond, holding up a tomahawk also stained with red and proclaiming, “fresh back from a raid on settlers.”
Would you be shocked and offended? Chances are you would if you are either a white person with deep roots in this region or a Native American.
Or what if the trick-or-treater was dressed as a frontiersman, also holding a red-stained tomahawk and informing you he was a Revolutionary War militiaman coming home from Gnadenhutten, Ohio? Anyone with Native American blood in his or her veins would be nauseated by that.
Some vivid examples, but if Myer is so concerned about Native Americans, why didn’t he or his papers call out Trump after this tweet three weeks ago as tribal lawyer Ruth Hopkins (and so many others) did?
Answer: as I have frequently noted, Ogden Newspapers have never criticized the president’s racism. Racism, when it isn’t anecdotal, is a Democratic problem.
And what about white nationalist, Republican Congressman Steve King? From the New York Times last month:
“White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive?” Mr. King said. “Why did I sit in classes teaching me about the merits of our history and our civilization?”
This is just the most recent example. King’s racism has been around for a long time and yet I could not find one criticism of him in any editorial or Myer column.
When Myer examines all racism regardless of politics, he’ll have some credibility on this topic. Until then, his columns are just partisan space-fillers.
Robin Capehart Update
Yesterday’s Bluefield Telegraph printed updated information on the naming of former ethically-challenged West Liberty University president, Robin Capehart, as interim president of Bluefield State College. (I wrote about it here.) Most of the Telegraph article focused on a vote by the college’s national alumni association:
The Bluefield State College National Alumni Association voted on Thursday to oppose the decision by the BSC Board of Governors to appoint Capehart as interim president, according to a letter signed by Audramae Smith Williams, the association’s president, and released Friday.
“Bluefield State College is going through a critical period in which its future existence is jeopardized,” Williams said in the letter. “It is urgent that the institution be led by a strong, credible, experienced individual that can enhance its continuous existence. Unfortunately, this cannot be done with Robin Capehart, whose leadership and ethics are clouded with disgrace and admitted wrongdoing.”
(Doesn’t the alumni group understand that ethical concerns are irrelevant, and that Republicans take care of their own?)
Additionally, the article states that there were only two applicants and that Capehart was also on WVU’s payroll. For BSC board chair Garry Moore, that was apparently another reason to hire him. Along with Moore’s comment that he’s “pretty sure he can pass whatever background check," that’s quite the ringing endorsement.
I’ve not yet seen any response from Bluefield faculty.