Regarding the Feb. 7 editorial “Mr. Northam must step down”:
The right seeks to destroy people such as Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) and Attorney General Mark R. Herring (D) because it can’t beat them at the ballot box. Rather than countering Democratic policies with sound, election-winning ideas, the right employs its usual methods of scraping up clickbait, hoping to destroy its opponents’ reputations. The right always fights these kinds of accusations; the left always folds.
Mr. Northam has said he was not in the yearbook picture, that he knew nothing about it and that he did not buy a copy of the yearbook. Why did the editorial presume otherwise? The editorial joined the NAACP, the Legislative Black Caucus in Richmond and even Virginia’s U.S. senators, of whom I’m usually proud, in a panicky capitulation.
Mr. Northam is an excellent governor whose policies are improving life for all Virginians. Mr. Herring has proved himself a state treasure by his years of battling injustice and exploitation against all Virginians. We need these men and others like them in Richmond and Washington. The Post should support Mr. Northam and his efforts to move Virginia forward, not abet character assassination.
Martha S. Baine, Waterford
I protest the editorial calling on Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) to resign. Mr. Northam has been an excellent and effective governor who has worked across the aisle to make Virginia government work. That a racist photograph appeared on his yearbook page 35 years ago — apparently without his knowledge — is not a credible reason for him to resign.
Paul Kuntzler, Washington
Regarding the Feb. 7 front-page article “Va. attorney general says he also wore blackface”:
I grew up in a middle-class white family in Petersburg, Va. I received my education at Virginia Tech and the University of Virginia and taught at Virginia Commonwealth University. I am a little older than Gov. Ralph Northam (D) and Attorney General Mark R. Herring (D), but I came of age during the same civil rights awakening in Virginia that they experienced in their youths. I do not share the view of some that young white men of that era did not understand the deep racial insult that blackface represents or the pain it causes to African Americans. It is an indictment of every Virginian I have known to accept the view that these acts were acceptable and that the blackface performances of Mr. Northam and Mr. Herring were simply a reflection of the time. They were not.
These men were acting in a way that speaks of their own character, not the culture of the time.
R.D. Jamison, Richmond
The Feb. 7 editorial “Mr. Northam must step down” asserted that Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam’s (D) “governorship has been irredeemably wrecked” by the events of the past week. Says who? Attorney General Mark R. Herring’s (D) admission that he wore blackface to a party in 1980 indicates that many, if not all, politicians — like many, if not all, humans — have skeletons in their closets. How many members of the Virginia General Assembly are thinking “there but for the grace of God go I”?
Whether Mr. Northam can be effective will depend in large part upon whether those legislators are willing to give the governor the second chance they would want if their transgressions came to light.
To my knowledge, there has been no Post editorial calling upon President Trump to resign, even though The Post routinely documents his lies. Some may not be willing to give Mr. Northam another chance, but, as a Virginia resident and voter since 1980, I am. His more than 30 years of service to his patients and the commonwealth have earned him that chance.
Patricia Casano, Alexandria
I think the Feb. 7 editorial was mistaken to ask for Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam’s (D) resignation. Mr. Northam worked to expand Medicaid and to make abortion accessible to more women, thus helping poor women escape poverty. He won by a wide margin. A few far-right fanatics should not be allowed to overturn an election.
Betty Dunn, McLean