When the media discovered Virginia Democrat Governor Ralph Northam posed in racist photographs in his 1984 medical school yearbook, everyone was appalled.  In an attempt to dig more deeply into this story, USA Today looked into hundreds of old yearbooks from the 1970s and 1980s.  In addition to – presumably – a lot of bad hair and fashion, they found a great number of racist, black face images, including one that epitomized the rank hypocrisy of the main stream media.

Their own editor-in-chief, Nicole Carroll, edited the 1988-89 yearbook of Arizona State University at twenty-one years of age. On page 218, two white guys were there grinning in black face, next to a woman in black face at an Alpha Kappa Psi fraternity Halloween party. One of the guys, wearing boxing gloves, was supposed to be Mike Tyson.  The woman, in a bikini top, was supposed to be Robin Givens.

If you don’t recall that particular saga back in 1988, Givens had filed for divorce from Tyson, after accusing the famous boxer of threatening to kill her family and of “unprovoked rages and destruction.”

In addition to the photo being racially insensitive, it was — obviously — insensitive to the plight of women suffering from intimate partner abuse.

When this old yearbook was discovered, Carroll “immediately recused herself from involvement in this coverage.” Carrollwrote a column in which she said she had no recollection of that photo and that she was “sorry for the hurt I caused back then and the hurt it will cause today. Clearly the 21-year-old me who oversaw the book and that page didn’t understand how offensive the photo was. I wish I had.”

For the record, I’m not a huge fan of digging up dirt on everyone in an effort to shame them.  However, it is a bit ironic that the outraged media — the arbiters of all that is politically correct — dug deep and discovered the guilt of one of their own.

In her mea culpa, Carroll also stated, “Today’s 51-year-old me of course understands and is crushed by this mistake… As journalists, we must hold ourselves accountable as we do others, and it is important to call myself out for this poor judgment.”

What a beautifully stated sentiment.  May we all continue to grow and improve, right?

But wait just one second.  Remember when Megan Kelly was actually fired from NBC for even mentioning that people used to dress up in black face?  “But what is racist?” Kelly asked during an NBC Today show episode. “Because you do get in trouble if you are a white person who puts on blackface on Halloween, or a black person who puts on whiteface for Halloween. Back when I was a kid that was OK, as long as you were dressing up as, like, a character.”

The backlash was swift, and Kelly was unceremoniously fired for even insinuating that people used to dress up in black face.

Yet, USA Today’sown reporters are finding out that there was apparently a spate of old blackface photos, including one published by its own editor-in-chief.  Interestingly, USA Today ran a piece by Kristen Powers condemning Kelly as racistback during her controversy – and remember tat Kelly was never involved in any photos.  She was simply stating that black face used to be more common.

Even that was too much for Powers.

“White women journalists were some of the worst offenders,” she declared, as she cast doubt on Kelly’s tearful apology.

Here we are again, but this time the person apologizing is another “white woman in journalism” who did far worse than discuss the issue on television.  She actually oversaw the publication of the photo.

What is the appropriate response? Whatever happens to Carroll, I can guarantee that it will be nothing compared to the immediate fired that Kelly suffered.  Kelly, you see, is a conservative.  And Carroll is a part of the main stream media who likes to persecute conservatives.

I’m sick of old yearbook photos and all of the accusations of racism.  However, may the USA Todayinvestigation cause the media to extend the same grace to others and it hopes to receive from readers.


About The Author

Mark was a co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots, and served as the national coordinator. He left the organization to work more broadly on expanding the self-governance movement beyond the partisan divide. Mark appears regularly on television in outlets as diverse as MSNBC, ABC, NBC, Fox News, CNN, Bloomberg, Fox Business and the BBC. He’s highly sought after for the tea party perspective from print and electronic media outlets, from the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, L.A. Times, Washington Examiner, Politico and the The Hill. Mark blogs at MarkMeckler.com, and his opinion editorials regularly run in many of the leading political newspapers both on and offline. Mark has a BA in English from San Diego State University and graduated with honors from University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law in 1988. He practiced real estate and business law for almost a decade. For the last eleven years of his legal career he specialized in Internet advertising law. When not fighting for the future of our nation, Mark is an avid horseman, and lives in rural northern California with his wife Patty and two children.

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