‘Let’s not just do this today, tomorrow, or one month out of the year—but every day. Black history is American history…’
(Ben Sellers, Liberty Headlines) Casting aside his days of going by the college nickname “Coonman,” posing in racist yearbook photos while a graduate student in medical school and appearing in blackface as Michael Jackson, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam has recently swung to the other extreme.
Northam, a Democrat, now demands that all of those under his reign in the Old Dominion must pay for his past sins by redirecting millions of dollars in taxpayer funding toward race-based initiatives that leftist black radicals demanded in return for their support during last year’s yearbook-photo scandal.
“For too long, the stories we have told about Virginia’s history have diminished or ignored the contributions of African Americans,” Northam decreed in a statement released Friday, prior to the start of February’s nationally recognized Black History Month.
“Black History Month is just one way we honor these tremendous accomplishments and ensure more people have a full and accurate understanding of our past,” Northam said. “As we work to better tell our true story, I encourage all Virginians to pause and recognize the depth of contributions Black Americans have made to the fabric of our Commonwealth and nation.”
Rather than leave it with the laudable sentiment recognizing minority-driven contributions to American life, Northam—true to form—followed up with a statement that simultaneously diminished and appropriated black achievements while echoing the controversial overreach of his political agenda.
“Let’s not just do this today, tomorrow, or one month out of the year—but every day. Black history is American history.”
In November, with a flood of outside money from mega-donors and interest groups, Virginia Democrats retook the state legislature for the first time in two decades, giving Northam carte blanche to enact a laundry list of extreme measures widely opposed by constituents.
The governor’s prominent pursuit of unconstitutional gun-grab policies has drawn thousands to rally in opposition and led the majority of counties in the commonwealth to declare themselves 2nd-amendment sanctuaries.
Northam’s actions even prompted neighboring West Virginia to invite any counties that found Democratic policies a bridge too far to secede from Virginia, just as the Mountaineer State did in 1863, at the height of the Civil War.
Ironically, given the echoes of the Civil War currently reverberating throughout Virginia, Northam has sought to whitewash its history by green-lighting the much-disputed removal of Confederate monuments in places like Charlottesville—where the Left’s illegal past effort to raze statues of Gens. Robert E. Lee and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson resulted in a fatal 2017 demonstration—and Richmond, the historic capital of the Confederacy.
In his statement on Friday, Northam touted the fact that his budget instead redirected funds to “a variety of measures to increase awareness of African American history” while hyperlinking to his radical “historic justice and equity agenda.”
Among the outlandish and costly budget proposals totaling an estimated $250 million are:
- $2.5 million to support K-12 attendance at the Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia
- Over $7 million to support Historic African American sites such as cemeteries
- A comprehensive “review” of the K-12 history standards by the less-than-objective Commission on African American History Education “to ensure Virginia students are taught accurate and comprehensive version of Virginia’s history”
- $31 million in additional funding for historically black colleges and universities (one of the specific demands that black-liberation radicals extorted from him)
- $2.7 million to the state’s leading energy and environmental regulatory agency to be applied toward “environmental justice” efforts and outreach
- $1.2 million to fully fund the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, as well as other funding to create additional positions targeting criminal justice reform within local jurisdictions
While Virginia has long struggled with its Confederate history—seeking both to reconcile its past slave-holding ignominy and commemorate the valor of its forebears—prior Democratic efforts to pander to black constituents using the public coffers have spun into massive boondoggles.
The state was forced to scuttle previous efforts to build a National Slavery Museum on the banks of the Rappahannock River, near historic Fredericksburg, after the museum’s executive director, Vonita Foster, misused millions of dollars in funding. After the foundation declared bankruptcy in 2008, Foster then appeared to vanish from sight amid the ensuing scandal.
Many of the proposed museum’s fundraising efforts were endorsed and led by former Virginia Gov. Douglas Wilder, the nation’s first African–American governor in more than a century, who later disavowed his association with the project and refused to respond to donors.
The state committed an estimated $11 million to the total $30-plus-million initiative, and the local government provided substantial property-tax incentives to the nonprofit that were never repaid.