Northam’s res­ig­na­tion won’t fix real prob­lem

Richmond Times-Dispatch - - EDITORIAL PAGE -


Calls for Gov. Ralph Northam’s res­ig­na­tion are un­der­stand­able, but I am con­cerned that this will re­sult in yet an­other lost op­por­tu­nity to deal with the larger is­sue of race re­la­tions in our coun­try. There is a ten­dency to vil­ify in­di­vid­u­als and this some­how seems to sat­isfy a need for ac­tion in the short run but misses the big­ger pic­ture. I don’t know if Northam is a racist, but I do know that la­bel­ing him as such and ex­tract­ing a pound of flesh from him does lit­tle or noth­ing to un­der­stand and deal with the his­tory and legacy of slav­ery in our coun­try and the on­go­ing im­pact on our coun­try to­day.

When Colin Kaper­nick and other NFL play­ers protested by kneel­ing for the Na­tional An­them, they were iden­ti­fied and la­beled as un-Amer­i­can, their mes­sage and con­cern were com­pletely dis­counted. What a missed op­por­tu­nity for Pres­i­dent Trump to call for ac­tion on the is­sue, for a na­tional dis­cus­sion, and po­ten­tial for heal­ing. The fo­cus is put on the in­di­vid­ual and not the is­sue and we yet again avoid tak­ing on the real prob­lem. We can la­bel peo­ple and then dis­count them, but can we af­ford to con­tinue to ig­nore these op­por­tu­ni­ties for open and hon­est di­a­logue? BREN­DAN HAYES.


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