Rules of Thumb (Editorial)

by Arkansas Business Staff  on Monday, Feb. 11, 2019 12:00 am   2 min read

Whew, that was a long seven days — and we aren’t even residents of Virginia. Not to imply that poor judgment is limited to Virginia Democrats — we read, after all, former state Sen. Jeremy Hutchinson’s explanation for how the FBI came to possess his laptop computer back in 2012. Still, that’s some kind of Gordian knot in the Old Dominion.

Its white governor and attorney general have both acknowledged performing in blackface costumes in the 1980s, and its black lieutenant governor has denied an allegation of sexual assault 15 years ago.

If all three were to resign, a state that has been trending Democratic would have as its governor the current speaker of the House of Delegates — a Republican.

And he’s only speaker because a random drawing gave a tied race (11,608 to 11,608) to the Republican candidate, which then gave the GOP a 51-49 advantage in the House.

And every bit of this madness could have been avoided if the future leaders of one of the most populous states had followed two rules that are simple enough even for teenagers and young adults to grasp:

► Do not wear blackface. Not even in homage to a favorite performer. Nothing bad ever comes from not wearing blackface.

Make absolutely sure that all sexual contact is welcome. Even the possibility of misunderstandings or, heaven forbid, false allegations can be dramatically reduced if sexual contact is part of an established relationship, not an ice-breaker.

And while we’re making a list, we’d like to add another good rule of thumb:

► Never claim a race or ethnicity that isn’t your own. Not even in homage to an ancestor you’ve heard tell of, and certainly not to gain an advantage to which you are not entitled.



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