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Ralph Northam In Blackface, But What About The Medical School That Allowed that Ideology?

Today’s cable news carried the headlines about Virginia Democratic Governor Ralph Northam.  Northam is the 73rd Governor of Virginia, being elected in January 2018.  He attended Eastern Virginia Medical School.  He is a physician by occupation having served as an United States Army medical officer from 1984 to 1992.   Northam completed pediatric residency at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas, and did a child neurology fellowship at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D. C. and John Hopkins Hospital.  Since 1992, Northam had been a pediatric neurologist at Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters in Norfolk, VA.

On February 1, 2019, a photo from Northam’s medical school yearbook’s page was released.  It shows an image of a person alleged to be Northham in blackface standing next to a person dressed in the hood and robe of the Ku Klux Klan.  A spokesman for Eastern Virginia Medical School confirmed that the image appeared in its 1984 yearbook.

I watched his press conference and could address Governor Northam’s excuses and inconsistencies, but there is something that weighs on me more.  That something is why would a medical school allow such an environment?  There is a presumptive thought that anyone who wants to practice medicine respects human lives regardless of skin color.  Apparently, Eastern Virginia Medical School did not instill respect for all humans in their curriculum. Read the rest of this entry

Two Men Sentenced To Prison For Beating Of DeAndre Harris

On August 12, 2017, DeAndre Harris took part in a counter-protest against the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.  He was physically assaulted by six White Supremacists in a parking garage and suffered extensive injuries, including broken ribs.   Photojournalist Zach D. Roberts witnessed the assault.

This is the same rally where James Alex Fields Jr. has been accused of driving a car into counter-protesters, killing Heather Heyer and injuring others.  Fields has been charged by the State of Virginia and with federal charges and is awaiting trial.

Out of the four men arrested for malicious wounding of DeAndre, two have now been convicted and on August 23, 2018, sentenced to prison.  A third defendant, Daniel Patrick Borden, has plead guilty and awaits sentencing.   Tyler Watkins Davis awaits trial.  Read the rest of this entry

In Loving Memory of Heather Heyer, Killed by Self-Proclaimed White Supremacist

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Heather Heyer, was killed when a Dodge Charger, allegedly driven by James Alex Fields, a self-identified white supremacist, plowed through a crowd of counter-protesters.  Heyer was attending an Alt-White Rally, protesting the removal of a confederate statue in Charlottesville, Virginia.  She was a counter-protester when she was murdered. 20 others were severely injured. Heyer, was a paralegal at the The Miller Law Group, also in Charlottesville.  According to their website,

Heather Heyer is one of our Paralegals here at Miller Law Group and continues to be an irreplaceable asset to our firm. Heather was born and raised in the beautiful state of Virginia. Originally from Ruckersville, VA, Heather now resides here in Charlottesville.

After being struck, Heyer was transported to UVA Hospital, where she was pronounced deceased.

Virginia Governor Terry McAulife tweeted that Heyer:

“died standing up against hate & bigotry.”

The driver, James Alex Fields Jr., a 20-year-old…

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Virginia Officer Stephen Rankin Found Guilty Of Manslaughter

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William Chapman

It began on April 22, 2015 in a Walmart parking lot in Portsmouth, Virginia.  Police received a call of a shoplifter.  Portsmouth police officer Stephen Rankin came to the scene and saw 18-year old William Chapman walking in the parking lot.  William was wearing a backpack.  Rankin stopped Chapman on suspicion of shoplifting.  William denied that he shoplifted anything.

The situation ended with Rankin shooting William twice, once in the chest, and once in the face.  The coroner found that William was handcuffed when he was shot.  No stolen property was found on William.  An autopsy report found that the shots were not fired at close range, which contradicted Rankin’s story that William was close to him, failed to comply with his demands, and lunged at him.  A video of Rankin’s taser was examined.

An investigation was held that was completed on August 21, 2015.   A grand jury indicted Rankin.  He was charged with first-degree murder and using a firearm to commit a felony. Read the rest of this entry

Funeral Scheduled Tomorrow For Ashley Guindon

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Ashley Guindon

Ashley Guindon, a Prince William County law enforcement officer, was killed last Saturday evening on her first day on the street when she responded to a call about a possible domestic matter.  Ashley was 28 years old.

Ashley is a native of Springfield, MA. Her family moved to New Hampshire, and she moved to Prince William County, Virginia where she became a police officer on February 27, 2016. West Springfield’s mayor is asking local residents to line the streets on Monday to show their respect to Ashley, whose funeral will be held Monday morning at Sacred Heart Church with burial to follow at St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Cemetery.

According to investigators, Ashley and two other police officers were shot by Ronald Hamilton, (age 32) within moments after Hamilton shot and killed his 29-year old wife Crystal. Crystal called 911 before she was killed. The three officers did not stand a chance, as they were shot by Hamilton the moment they arrived. Officers Jesse Hempen, 31, and David McKeown, 33, are expected to recover from the injuries they sustained. Read the rest of this entry

Love Conquers All – The Loving Couple

In April 2014, I posted the following story about the Loving couple who waited over a decade for a court decision making their marriage legal in the State of Virgina. On June 12th of every year there  are Loving Day celebrations across America in recognition of the Supreme Court’s decision in  Loving v. Virginia.  Hence, I thought now would be a good time to post the story again; first as a reminder of the struggles that common people undertake that serves to benefit others and secondly, to give us opportunity to look for a Loving Day celebration to participate.  

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In 2013, a federal Judge cited the Loving case in his ruling when striking down Virginia’s same-sex marriage ban. The Loving case has become the foundation in which other courts are striking down bans against same-sex marriage. How did it come about?

Loving — The last name is so appropriate.

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Mildred and Richard Loving

In 1957, Richard Loving and Mildred Jeter married. They met and lived in Central Point, Virginia, but married in Washington, D.C. because in Virginia, it was illegal to marry a person of another race. Richard, White, and Mildred, “colored,” fell in love at first sight.

 

At about 4 a.m. one morning, the local police came to their house and arrested them. It wasn’t just the law against interracial marriage that the police was going to arrest the Lovings for violating. They were hoping to catch them in the act of making love, because there was also law against interracial sex. Read the rest of this entry

Love Conquers All – Waiting A Decade For The Court’s Decision

In 2013, a federal Judge cited the Loving case in his ruling when striking down Virginia’s same-sex marriage ban. The Loving case has become the foundation in which other courts are striking down bans against same-sex marriage. How did it come about?

Loving — The last name is so appropriate.

Lovings 5

Mildred and Richard Loving

In 1957, Richard Loving and Mildred Jeter married. They met and lived in Central Point, Virginia, but married in Washington, D.C. because in Virginia, it was illegal to marry a person of another race. Richard, White, and Mildred, “colored,” fell in love at first sight.

At about 4 a.m. one morning, the local police came to their house and arrested them. It wasn’t just the law against interracial marriage that the police was going to arrest the Lovings for violating. They were hoping to catch them in the act of making love, because there was also law against interracial sex.

Mildred showed the police their marriage certificate, but that marriage certificate became evidence for the criminal charge of “cohabiting as man and wife, against the peace and dignity of the Commonwealth.”

On January 6, 1959, the Loving’s pled guilty. The law they were charged with Lovings 3violating was passed in Virginia in 1924. It was the Act for the Preservation of Racial Integrity. That law set forth that any trace of nonwhite ancestry (the infamous “one drop” rule) defined someone as ineligible to marry anyone defined as white.
The court found the Loving’s guilty and sentenced each to one year in prison, but suspended sentencing for 25 years if they moved out of Virginia.

They moved to Washington, D.C. and could only return to Virginia separately, not together, to see their families. The Loving’s were unhappy in D.C. and in 1964, Mildred wrote to Attorney General Robert Kennedy. He referred her to the ACLU. Two attorneys with no prior experience, but believers in equality and the constitution, went to work.

Read the rest of this entry

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