Showing posts from February, 2019

Reflections on Ralph Northam: Concerns about Concern Trolling

Northam's disgusting yearbook photos have drawn understandable demands for him to resign.  But before we close the book on this story, there is a second story that seems to be going unnoticed.

Respectable news sources including the New York Times reported that offensive photos of the governor had been discovered.  In the course of their reporting, though, they haven't examined that they were uncovered by a White Nationalist publication specifically for the purpose of creating a controversy to drive the Alt-right's agenda.  The reason that this angers me is not that it's somehow unfair to Northam, who has no entitlement to defense over the racist attitudes his costume displayed.  It's because the inclusion or omission of this information substantially alters the context of the story as we all decide the appropriate response to Northam's past wrong.

As presented, it appears that evidence of disgusting behavior from the far past has coincidentally appeared to enac…