Regarding the Virginia governor who won’t resign after it was uncovered that on his personal page in his Medical School yearbook (he was 25 years old then), he placed a photo of two men — one with “black face” paint and the other wearing a full-on KKK white hooded outfit. Of course he’s sorry, blah, blah, blah, and has gone back and forth as to whether it was actually him on that photo or not, which he selected to be featured on his personal yearbook page.

This governor still doesn’t know that it does not matter if he was actually in the photo or not. What matters is that it was he who selected this offensive photo. He is not fit to serve as governor. And by the way, claiming “youthful indiscretion” ain’t gonna cut it, pal. You were 25 years old.

That’s why when my kids were teens and even in college, I warned them that some mistakes they may have to pay for the rest of their lives. No “do-overs.” I’m sorry won’t cut it. We told our children to avoid those behaviors that could haunt them and alter the entire course of their lives.

Besides, this governor still doesn’t get it. He thinks it actually matters if he wasn’t in the photo wearing the KKK hood or the “black face” paint. In addition, he apparently also doesn’t get that this is one of those mistakes that, if you make it when you’re young, you may have to pay for the rest of your life.

Young people: I hope you’re paying attention! Prisons are full of young folks who “are sorry” and wished they hadn’t driven while drunk or didn’t think “No means no” or whatever! 

And if you think those images aren’t as hurtful to others as assault, then you’ve got blinders on.

Janice Matthews Rasheed, PhD, LCSW

Retired professor, Loyola University Chicago 

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