USA: The Crisis in Virginia Continues


By Robert Gibbs, U.S. Correspondent, Revolutionary Communist International Tendency, 11 February 2019,




A second woman, Meredith Watson, has come forward to accuse Virginia’s Lieutenant Governor, Justin Fairfax, of raping her while they were students at Duke University in 2000. Ms. Watson had been previously assaulted by a Duke basketball player friend of Fairfax and after reporting the incident to the school she was encouraged to drop charges. It should be noted that Duke is a national powerhouse in college basketball and derives millions from its prominence in the sport.


When Watson encountered Fairfax following her assault by him (he followed her out of a party) she reportedly asked “Why did you do it?” According to Watson Mr. Fairfax answered: “I knew that because of what happened to you last year, you’d be too afraid to say anything.”


Justin E. Fairfax’s present refusal to quit as lieutenant governor of Virginia in the face of two allegations of sexual assault has created for the Democratic Party an extraordinary crisis. They are faced with the impeachment of an African-American leader when Virginia’s other two top leaders, both white, are resisting demands for their resignation after having admitted to a past that includes racist behavior.


Governor Northam’s actions throughout the incident beginning ten days ago has only deepened the embarrassment for the Democratic Party. When first confronted with the racist yearbook images he apologized. He then amended that the following day by contradicting his previous remarks and insisting that neither the individual in blackface nor the person wearing a Ku Klux Klan robe were him. He confessed, however, that he had previously worn blackface in an attempt to win a dance contest. He also insisted, somewhat unbelievably, that he had never seen his own 1984 medical school yearbook page.


He compounded the absurdity by commenting at the press conference with an air of knowing authority on how hard it is to remove the shoe polish typically applied to achieve blackface and that you shouldn’t overdo it. Northam’s wife, standing by his side, had to restrain him from doing the Michael Jackson moonwalk as he proudly commented on having, indeed, won the dance contest.


In more recent days Northam has offered his fulsome pledge to devote the rest of his term in the pursuit of racial reconciliation. Towards this end he notes that he has been boning up on books like “The Case for Reparations” by Ta-Nehisi Coates and Alex Haley’s “Roots” to acquaint himself with the life experiences of African-Americans. What hypocritical, self-serving rubbish!


Fairfax is now insisting on due process? What a joke! Unfortunately sexual assault does not lend itself to "due process". Justin Fairfax knows that. It's in the interests of the perpetrator to request that the unprovable be proven and when that can't be done... to insist on an acquittal.


The problem for Fairfax is that this is not being tried before a jury of 11 peers but the more important court of public opinion. Fairfax's defense is that his assaults were "consensual". Maybe in his mind they were. Who can fathom the minds of men who feel so entitled? It is obvious that in the minds of the entirely credible women who have come forward with claims of assault - they were not!


These women have absolutely nothing to gain from their accusations. Nothing. Their exemplary personal histories and the associates they related their experiences to additionally establish their credibility. Pity a victim with less education or social standing. Pity the victim that is viewed as a “nobody”. Fairfax happened to choose at least two victims that became “somebodies” and they have been willing to risk personal exposure to come forward in the name of social good and justice.


Fairfax's ploy of insisting on due process is an empty if desperate gesture. He's clearly the party with everything to lose and every incentive to lie his way out of this. That tactic, including calling upon the FBI to investigate the uninvestigatable (a la Brett Kavanaugh), is presently looking like it’s destined to failure.


In the era of Donald Trump there's a growing distaste for liars in American politics. Trump (of Access Hollywood tapes fame) has predictably sought to capitalize on the crisis of the Democrats by calling the actions of the three Virginia politicians, “Unforgivable!” Hypocrisy has no limits in American politics.


It was no accident that the President raised the specter of socialism at his recent State of the Union message by declaring, “Tonight, we resolve that America will never be a socialist country.”


American workers are confronting on a daily basis that they will find no solutions to their mounting problems in either bourgeois party and there is a growing awareness of that fact in all segments of society.