Not just a Southern thing
Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring’s admission that as a 19-year-old in 1980 he wore what could be considered blackface may be a blessing in disguise.
Coming just days after the revelation of a racist photo in Gov. Ralph Northam’s 1984 medical school yearbook, it provides all Americans the opportunity to pause and think through what truly ought to constitute a firing offense in public life.
By just about any account, Northam’s photo of a man in Ku Klux Klan attire alongside another wearing blackface is shameful and racist; his contradictory explanations make matters worse. There’s a case to be made that, through his strange dissembling, he has forfeited the trust of Virginians.
Herring, on the other hand, admitted to dressing up like New York rapper Kurtis Blow at a party once. Disqualifying? We don’t see it.
Meanwhile, recall: Here in diverse New York, former Assemblyman Dov Hikind, who went out in odious blackface on Purim, rejected calls to resign and won re-election. Our hands are hardly clean.