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Sat Feb 2, 2019, 05:18 PM

I can't support Northam.

Iím sure there are far worse racists in the Republican Party. That is not a rationale, in my opinion, for supporting Northam. Yes, GOP politicians get away with worse. Thatís them. Not us. We have to hold to standards that they donít. Thereís nothing fair about having to hold to a higher standard, but I think itís the right thing to do.

Iíve had to admit to racism. Itís not pleasant, but itís honest. I have used racial slurs and told racist jokes earlier in my life. The weird thing is that I would have denied I was racist. I donít know how the hell I managed that disconnect, but I did. When I was in my mid-20ís, my perspective changed in a big way because, instead of being in an environment that was 95-100% white, I lived in an area with a much higher population of African-Americans than ever before. I had a lot of conversations, made some good friends, and listened. And what I learned is that I had a terribly narrow perspective, and that Iíd been racist in a big way.

Later, I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to attend graduate school. My best friends there were international students, not a single one of whom was white. They gave me added perspective, and it was there that I learned from them and a couple of very patient professors that I needed more work. The main thing being that I should not only do my best to not be racist, but to call out and be very clear that I would not tolerate racism when around a group that is all white. To not be afraid whether I would be disliked for it. Anything short of that would be a betrayal of people I professed to be friends with.

I have evolved. I fully admit to racist attitudes and words in my past. I really wish I could change that. But I have not been that person for some time, and I make every effort to not be that person now. I would want the chance to demonstrate who I am now. And to be open to any further education I might need to be aware of shortcomings I canít see in myself.

Thatís me. I wish that Northam had said something like that the instant he ran for public office. I could support that, but I canít support what I saw today.

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