Virginia is holding gubernatorial elections in 2017, and after this month’s deadly white supremacist violence, things have taken some unexpected turns.
In the wake of the bloodshed that killed 32-year-old Heather Heyer and injured 19 others, Democratic candidate Ralph Northam released a statement condemning the racist perpetrators, arguing that Confederate “statues should be taken down and moved into museums,” and calling for all of us to “do more to elevate the parts of our history that have all too often been underrepresented” including “memorializing Civil Rights.”
Apparently, Northam’s statement offended Virginia’s Republican Party and their nominee, Ed Gillespie. The Virginia GOP’s official Twitter account tweeted and later deleted:
“.@RalphNortham has turned his back on his own family’s heritage in demanding monument removal (1/2)”
“Shows @RalphNortham will do anything or say anything to try and be #VAGov – #Pathetic 2/2.”
The accusation of turning one’s back on their own heritage is a frequent and thinly veiled accusation employed by racists to imply that white people have betrayed their race by seeking equal opportunity for individuals regardless of ethnicity.
Northam didn’t miss a beat, firing back in confident defiance:
— Ralph Northam (@RalphNortham) August 23, 2017
Gillespie has not yet responded, and it’s no surprise. Three weeks before the notorious white supremacist march in Charlottesville, Gillespie began campaigning on his ability to get along with Trump, saying “Having a governor who can work with a Republican House, a Republican Senate, President Trump, Vice President Pence, the Trump administration — I think is an asset for us in Virginia.”
It’s too soon to know for sure whether Virginia voters will agree, but one thing is already certain. Virginia has exactly one candidate who will stand up to white supremacist hate.
Learn more about Democrat Ralph Northam’s campaign here.
Sheila Norton is a writer with ten years of Capitol Hill experience. Subscribe to the OD Action email to get all the hottest news delivered right to your inbox every day at www.odaction.com