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Justin Fairfax is, for the moment, still the embattled lieutenant governor of Virginia. It's never good when you're "embattled." It's not a strong position from which to launch any exploratory committees for higher office. For roughly 12 hours or so, it looked like Fairfax would replace Gov. Ralph Northam, whose yearbook photo revealed he might've experimented with blackface in college. Then two women came forward to credibly accuse Fairfax of sexual assault. We suggested Fairfax resign and resolve all this as a private citizen, but whoever listens to us?

Accused rapists almost always make admitted blackface artistes look good by comparison. If we weren't already on Team Moonwalk, Fairfax's actions this weekend would've cemented our position. In an impromptu speech to the state Senate, Fairfax compared himself to lynching victims like a common Clarence Thomas. You should never go full Clarence Thomas.


Earlier this month, the General Assembly passed resolutions expressing "profound regret" for "the existence and acceptance of lynching" in Virginia. Just profound regret? Were they RSVPing "no" to a cousin's wedding? Anyway, Fairfax had the gall to add himself to the tragic list of black people murdered by mobs.

"I've heard much about anti-lynching on the floor of this very Senate, where people were not given any due process whatsoever, and we rue that," Fairfax said... "And we talk about hundreds, at least 100 terror lynchings that have happened in the Commonwealth of Virginia under those very same auspices. And yet we stand here in a rush to judgment with nothing but accusations and no facts, and we decide that we are willing to do the same thing."

This would've been tasteless if a Fairfax supporter had said it, but everyone hates Fairfax now so he has to play the parts of both Atticus Finch and Tom Robinson in this regional theatre production of To Kill a Mockingbird. Fairfax's dumb ass was once a federal prosecutor so he knows that "accusations" are indeed forms of "evidence," and the accusations against him are filled with facts.

No one has suggested depriving Fairfax of "due process." Certainly, no one has recommended, as a fun way to pass a Friday night, brutally murdering Fairfax before a cheering crowd. Political death is not in any way a physical death. Fairfax can confirm that with his former boss, John Edwards. If Fairfax is going to give speeches about lynchings, he should brush up on the ones from his state. Back in 1897, Virginian Joseph McCoy was accused of assaulting the nine-year-old daughter of his employer and was killed before he could even stand trial.

"They dragged him out of the station house, up Fairfax Street to Cameron, down Cameron to Lee, where they quickly put a rope around his neck. It took but a second to jerk him off his feet. The crowd broke into great cheer as the negro was seen dangling in the air . . . "

Fairfax is standing on the brutalized bodies of dead black people to pull himself out of a hole of his own making. It's appalling. While vilifying his accusers, both of whom are black, Fairfax deliberately ignores a major historical fact: Few, if any, men were lynched because the alleged victim was a black woman. In fact, black people were often lynched for simply objecting to the assault of a black woman. Another example from Virginia is a Mrs. Wise, who was lynched in 1931 because she objected to white Klansmen taking her daughter on "rides." (We don't want to know.)

Fairfax is not the victim of a lynching, "high-tech" or otherwise. He's a powerful man who may have believed he could mistreat women with impunity. Now, like Bill Cosby and R. Kelly, he faces a long overdue reckoning. Virginia can do more than express "profound regret" for a shameful past. The state can choose right here and right now to listen and believe Vanessa Tyson and Meredith Watson. Virginia can show that these women's black lives matter. Every Virginia should now loudly demand that Justin Fairfax step down. This is no longer about politics. It's about what's right.

[WaPo / Richmond Free Press / AP / Viewpoint Magazine]

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Stephen Robinson

Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Seattle. However, he's more reliable for food and drink recommendations in Portland, where he spends a lot of time for theatre work. His co-adaptation of "Jitterbug Perfume" by Tom Robbins is playing NOW at Pioneer Square's Cafe Nordo. All Wonketters welcome.

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Hooray, it's time for yet another dispatch from Fox News's big fun week of failure. (No, we mean even more failure than usual.) While all of Twitter is being annoying and talking incessantly about nothing but Bran and Daenerys and Carl and Peg or whoever they are, we have been (ignoring it and) focusing on all Fox's sadness, starting with Pete Buttigieg's town hall, where he called Fox News a piece of shit to its face. Then we laughed and laughed at Fox News idiot Pete Hegseth, who is sending lots of begging to today's college graduates, that they might immediately get dropped on their heads and forget all their education, so they might grow up to be the Fox News viewers of the future.

Oh, and we haven't even had a chance to LOL at the epic hilarity of Steve Doocy trying to do man-on-the-street interviews in Midtown Manhattan, shoving the mic into the faces of New Yorkers who literally don't care if he goes and plays in traffic. That was fun!

But the point of this post is that we have finally learned what makes at least some Fox News viewers tick, and it is that Tucker Carlson "laughs like a girl." That is not us saying that, that is a Fox News fan lady telling the Washington Post's Erik Wemple why she loves Tucker Carlson so much.

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Old White Guys Try To Explain Abortion

Throwing the baby out with the bathwater. It's your Sunday show rundown!

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Michael is out, so I'm taking over your Sunday Show Rundown. This week everyone was talking about those awful abortion laws worming their way through state legislatures. As usual, most of the men were tripping on their dicks while trying to talk about vag. Luckily, there's enough women around to ladysplain things.

Bernie Sanders went on Meet the Press for the first time in FOREVER and played his greatest hits for all the kids. Sanders criticized Joe Biden's environmental policy (which is literally just "beat Trump"), stating that it wasn't "good enough." Sanders is right! (NO FIGHTING.)

SANDERS: Beating Trump is not good enough. You have to beat the fossil fuel industry, you have to take on all the forces of the status quo who do not want to move this country to energy efficiency and sustainable energy.

But then Chuck Todd asked Bernie a loaded question about women getting "sex-selective" abortions and the whole interview went off the rails. Bernie struggled to answer the dumbass question and came across looking stupid despite having spent the better part of the last week in Alabama railing against abortion bans.

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