Mr. Crawford, thank you for commenting on this piece. I disagree with you on your central thesis about judging Gov. Northam. I offer no judgment of him. In fact, the title of this piece explicitly moves the issue beyond Northam, i. e., Blackface Caricatures Bigger than Ralph Northam.

I would hope there can be a larger discussion on why there is a need for whites to resort to these types of caricatures that are so harmful to a large segment of the American population.

Moreover, while the person in the photo is not per se the subject of this piece, I watched Northam’s news conference live. I came away from it not finding conclusive evidence that he is either in the photo or is not in the photo. The citizens of the Commonwealth will have to decide whether he stays or whether he goes. However, it appears to me that staying tarnishes the Democratic brand with the 2020 Presidential election a year away.

Additionally, I hate to be the one to tell you, but America is and has always been a place where accusations alone are sufficient to destroy one’s reputation, especially the reputations and lives of people of color. (Visit the Lynching Museum in Montgomery, Alabama).

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Harvey is Living Now Book Awards 2020 Bronze Medalist for his memoir Freaknik Lawyer: A Memoir on the Craft of Resistance. Available at

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