In a speech to Virginia’s state Senate on Sunday, embattled Democratic Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax made clear he was not going to take the two sexual assault allegations against him sitting down.
The Hill reports:
“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 in the state Senate, according to The Associated Press. He was referencing legislation passed expressing “profound regret” for lynchings in Virginia between 1877 and 1950.
“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,” Fairfax added.
Watch video of Fairfax’s remarks below:
Justin Fairfax: “And we talk about hundreds, at least 100 terror lynchings that have happened in the Commonwealth of Virginia … 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.” pic.twitter.com/T8uMAvPLs3
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) February 24, 2019
The reactions to Fairfax’s speech by Republicans in leadership positions were swift:
Republican House Majority Leader Del. Todd Gilbert said Fairfax’s comments about lynchings were highly inappropriate.
“That is the worst, most disgusting type of rhetoric he could have invoked,” Gilbert said. “It’s entirely appropriate for him to talk about due process and we would intend to offer him every ounce of it, and he’s welcome to take advantage of that anytime he would like.”
But black lawmakers did not object to Fairfax’s speech.
“He said what he needed to say,” said Sen. Mamie Locke.
Virginia Legislative Black Caucus Chairman Del. Lamont Bagby said he’s heard similar rhetoric from his constituents, who have expressed concerns that Fairfax is being treated unfairly because of his race.
As I’ve written before, this is the exact type of situation identity-politics-obsessed Democrats at the state and national levels wanted to avoid going into the next crucial election cycle.
You’ve got two white Democrats – the governor and the attorney general – who appear to have survived the blackface scandals that rocked Virginia earlier this month. This in spite of calls from Democratic presidential candidates for Gov. Ralph Northam to step down.
And yet the black Democrat who, unlike Northam and Mark Herring, has not admitted to anything – it’s his political future that appears to be the most uncertain.
Granted, the allegations against Fairfax are criminal in nature but even with that said, the optics for the Democratic party are not good on this, no matter which way you look at it. Democrats there are not going to be willing to force him out, and Republicans will be content to sit back and gage how much damage the left’s double standards on sexual assault allegations will play out among voters.
As I said before, it’s too bad for Virginia Democrats that Fairfax isn’t a white Republican or a Trump judicial nominee. Then they could ditch their newfound superficial respect for due process and just go for the jugular.
—Sister Toldjah is a former liberal and a 15+ year veteran of blogging with an emphasis on media bias, social issues, and the culture wars. Read her Red State archives here. Connect with her on Twitter.–