We all have skeletons in our closet. Things we’ve done in the past that we are not too proud of. Some of those things may have been minor i.e. being mean to people you went to school with. Definitely not minor if you were a bully and that bullying had a major impact on someone’s life. Some skeletons are criminal. Say you were a kleptomaniac growing up and you stole everything and anything you could get your hands on for monetary gain or just for the fun of it. You may have gotten caught and paid a fine, which is why you stopped, or you had a come to Jesus moment and grew out of it. Whatever your crimes were you left them in the past and hopefully have moved on to become a better person and more productive citizen. Some of you may have even become public figures like politicians and celebrities.
When I was growing up someone gave me a piece of advice. “Live your life as if you were running for public office because whatever bad things you do will be used against you.” If the past few weeks in Virginia have shown us anything it’s that there are many ‘chickens coming home to roost’ and a lot of prominent figures are paying a hefty price in the court of public opinion for their previous acts of cruelty.
Life has a way of coming full circle. Sinners spend a portion of their youth sinning and the rest of their lives making amends. Some people grew up believing racism and blackface were acceptable and funny. It gets a laugh and even wins contests at Halloween parties or dances. It was so ingrained in society that images of blackface and Klansman together were allowed by school administrators to be forever enshrined in high school and college yearbooks. What that shows is that teenagers, college graduates and school administrators all found humor in the degradation of an entire race and had no problem showing their disdain for fellow graduates to their community and to the world.
What is worse? A person like current Virginia Governor Northam whose yearbook photo of blackface and Klansman side by side initially admitting he was one of the two and apologizes or someone who does an about-face as he did the next day and says I’ve never seen my yearbook before and denies the photo is of him and is appalled by its presence and doesn’t know how it got on his page? You can only ask for forgiveness if you accept responsibility for your actions. If racism from your past is not grounds for removal from office a lack of character, lying and failure to accept responsibility surely is.
The house of cards that is Virginia’s political ruling class is falling apart with each passing week. Perhaps their skeletons are so vast they will all try and ride out the storm together and no one will step down. Only time will tell. What is telling is that no matter how far we have come as a country we still have a long way to go.