A photo of a kid in ‘blackface’ standing next to a kid in a KKK costume has surfaced from 35years ago, and one of those kids may be Virginia’s governor.

For (maybe) having acted in the past in such a way as to offend the Victims’ High Council in the present – for which there is no statute of limitations - there are people who want the governor to fold up and exit the stage.  Wherever will we find leaders untainted by an unacceptable past?

Although it may have been difficult to see into the future far enough to predict it, the current political climate has been incubating for some few decades. Once we accepted the denigration of the accomplishment of anyone who came before us - the more noteworthy the accomplishment, the greater the protest - it wasn’t much of a logical stretch to use a living person’s past to destroy their credibility in the present, irrespective of the reality of the present.

Those who claim to occupy today’s moral high ground fail to acknowledge that yesterday is where we learned what we know today. Anyone who doesn’t use that distinction to inform today’s judgements about the past has no right to claim moral superiority over the past.  Denigrating our forbearers because today’s world is different from their time is intellectually lazy, and poisons the soil from which today’s, and tomorrow’s, accomplishments are expected to sprout. 

Let’s put ourselves in the governor’s shoes.  Would you be comfortable if people judged your life, especially if you have anything you consider accomplishments, by what you did in your youth?  Should what was once some bit of foolishness color the entire body of accomplishment of your life, even if that bit of foolishness was, at the time, informed by those times? Should every person you ever offended be allowed to tarnish, or even destroy, your life’s work even though that event no longer represents anything about who you are today?

Why isn’t the governor of Virginia’s recent history regarding race being defended by those who claim to advocate for social justice? 

He’s a professional Democrat so his attitude about race must certainly have him praying devoutly at the altar of race, morning, noon, and night.  Many people outgrow behavior which is counterproductive for a high functioning adult, and go on to accomplish great things. Why try to make a difference if anything you ever did will used to judge everything you will ever do?

The governor will issue a canned apology; the Victims’ High Council demands it.  But of what value is such an apology, really?  

Those for whom this photo is a source of offence will not begin to heal their hurt feelings because of the apology, nor is that the point. 

 In this and so many similar instances, the apology is simply an offering of contrition at the altar of the Victims’ High Council, much the same as self-criticism in Red China was used as a means to “re-educate” and control an entire population, millions of whom were subsequently murdered.  We aren’t to the point of murdering people over these past violations but we seem to have no reservation about ruining their lives over them. 

An apology should be an act of true contrition; a preface to actions intended to correct or make up for whatever is being apologized for, even if it is just changing a behavior.  It should be personal between both the offending party and the aggrieved party.  It should not be what it has become in these cases, a class action act of political redemption rather than one of personal contrition.

It is unlikely that the Virginia governor and I agree on much. He is not a fellow traveler I am rising to defend. But, We the People need to stop accepting and reacting to the judgement of those who use the past to keep their political thumb on those in the present.  

It will destroy any promise of a better future.  Frankly, I don’t care what the governor did in a different time and place.  Who is he today?

I believe that the continued promotion of the victim/oppressor social paradigm will leave us with timid leaders, an upcoming generation with no heroes, and a retreat from accomplishment caused by fear of running afoul of the Masterminds of the Victims’ High Council who pass ultimate political judgement on every accomplishment and every person who dares to accomplish.  We the People should stand against it, now and always.