Two women have come forward to accuse Virginia’s African-American Lieutenant Governor, Justin Fairfax, of sexual assault. This, while the white Governor and Attorney General are embroiled in controversy over wearing blackface over 3 decades ago. To boot, the Governor first admitted posing in a racist photo and then denied it.
All three men, the Governor, the Lieutenant Governor and the Attorney General are Democrats. They are all resisting calls by fellow Democrats for their resignations. The Governor’s credibility now hovers around zero. He nevertheless retains 47% support for staying office according to recent polling.
For its part, the New York Times reports that the accusations of sexual assault have presented Democrats with an excruciating choice. If Mr. Fairfax, like his white counterparts, refuses to step down, Democrats will be faced with deciding whether or not to impeach him. Either way, according to the Times, Democrats risk angering one of two crucial constituencies presumed to be at loggerheads over this: women and African-Americans.
According to the Times, if Democrats refuse to impeach Mr. Fairfax they risk angering women; on the other hand if they impeach Fairfax but allow the Governor and Attorney General to remain in office, they risk angering African-American voters.
Karen Bass (D-CA) head of the Congressional Black Caucus says that the Democratic Party would lack credibility if it followed a double standard. She says that both the Governor and the Lt. Governor should step down. Meanwhile, Representative A. Donald McEachin (D-VA) said “We’ve worked hard on the Democratic brand for so many years and now we have to deal with this.”
These comments speak to the collectivist mind-set. Does Karen Bass really believe that an accusation of posing in a racist photo should be treated the same as an accusation of committing a sexual assault? Similarly, does Representative McEachin seriously think the salient issue here is branding? Perhaps instead these people ought to think about justice and due process before hopping on the bandwagon.
We could start by adding some perspective here. Lt. Governor Fairfax, who insists he is innocent, is accused of committing a heinous crime. Governor Northam, first confessed to, and then denied appearing in a blatantly racist photo 35 years ago. It is safe to say that Northam, then 24 years old, acted like an idiot. It is not reasonable to infer he is a violent felon.
The accusation against the Lt. Governor is far more serious. He is accused, twice, of having committed a violent crime. He is entitled to the presumption of innocence even though he has already been tried and convicted by the Democratic National Committee. And while Fairfax may very well be guilty of two horrific assaults, he is entitled to due process and a thorough investigation of the facts.
An impeachment proceeding against Fairfax would be the proper way to begin. And if it turns out that the evidence is strong enough to support a criminal charge, he should be prosecuted. In any case he should not be forced to resign beforehand in what would be tantamount to a confession of guilt. Nor should he be given a slap on the wrist if he agrees to resign in order to spare the Democrats some embarrassment. Neither of those solutions has anything to do with justice. Justice demands truth.
It should also be noted that these cases represent an institutional failure of some importance. It is clear that the press did not sufficiently investigate the backgrounds of these candidates. Nor did either of the political parties do their homework on their own or opposition candidates.
More than anything, this episode rips away the mask hiding the Marxian doctrines of oppression and collective guilt that pervade what passes for progressive thought. Justin Fairfax is presumed to be guilty because he is a man. His accusers are presumed to be telling the truth because they are women. African-Americans are presumed to side with Fairfax because he is African-American. Women, especially white women, are presumed to side with Fairfax’s accusers because they are women. It is the status of the victim rather than evidence that is determinative. It is the triumph of intersectionality over justice, which is to say, mob rule.
Nowhere is there a hint that individual people are capable of sifting through the facts and making a judgement about an individual case. Nor is there even a suggestion that people can or ought to distinguish between committing a violent crime and posing for a racist photograph. All that matters to the progressive elite is the politics of power and protecting the “brand”. Justice, fair play and due process do not count.
Remember that next time you hear the speech about the importance of the rule of law.