Disconnected from reality

On March 31, rapper Nipsey Hussle was fatally shot outside his store in Los Angeles. For the most part, the response on social media was very sympathetic. However, there were also many posts, tweets, and comments saying “Who cares?” and other ignorant comments about his death.

These kinds of things aren’t uncommon on social media. There are loads of negative posts uploaded constantly.

“I try not to spend a lot of time on social media for that reason,” senior Izzudeen Yahia said. “The constant amount of negativity can affect your mind and attitude.”

As social media is still relatively new, the effects it can have on you have not been deeply investigated by scientists. But, some effects have been identified.

One of these is known as compression fatigue, coined by journalist Dave Cullen. Compassion fatigue explains the phenomena where people are constantly bombarded with tragic stories and eventually get emotionally worn out. On average, people spend 1.72 hours on social media per day according to the Global Web Index. In that time that we use scrolling through social media, we see status updates and photos that friends post timelines along with tragic stories from across the world. We feel compassion fatigue with wars overseas, tragedies at home, and other awful things that occur in the world around us. We see the same thing over and over, and eventually lose the ability to empathize. While one of the championing effects of social media is that it creates an interconnected world, this also creates a platform for every single tragedy worldwide, which means one sad news event after another is moved by really quickly.

Another limitation of empathy created by social media is confirmation bias. Confirmation bias is when people only expose themselves to their own thoughts repeated in recursive echo chambers of increasingly radical and exclusionary thought. When this happens, social media users understand and empathize with other users who share the same view as them and demonize and attack them.
Social media also provides people a platform to say things they wouldn’t say in real life. It’s a lot easier to insult or provoke someone when you aren’t talking to them face to face and get to hide behind a screen. This anonymity also leads to a lot of users who go out of their way to “troll” others. Basically, a social media troll is someone who purposely says something controversial in order to get a rise out of other users. These people deliberately try and cause arguments and frustrate others.

“My suggestion to people is to try and take a break from social media. When you spend your entire day on Twitter or Instagram, not only is it a waste of time, but it can affect your personality as well,” Yahia said.

Taking a break from social media can be a good idea every once in a while. It can help you stay focused on your own goals in life and can help you reclaim wasted time. It can help prevent negative thoughts from entering and taking over your mind as well.

As a whole, social media does have a lot of positives, but it has its drawbacks as well. Social media is a very good source of entertainment and can create positive relationships across the world, but it’s important to be able to distinguish between real life and online life and not get so caught up in the virtual world that you lose your sense of empathy. It’s important to remember that behind every social media account there is a person going through the trials and tribulations of life. Respectful and responsible discourse on social media is the first step to overcoming a loss of empathy.




European Union passes controversial copyright law

The future of the Internet in Europe faces a lot of uncertainty after the European Parliament passed Article 13, which sets new copyright restrictions in place on a lot of content. Essentially, it means sites such as YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook, Twitter and Soundcloud – sites that host user-generated content – become legally liable for the copyrighted material it hosts. For YouTube’s case, this is the large majority of it.

Many people on the Internet have labeled Article 13 as the ‘meme ban’ as many memes are repurposed from other original content.

This will effectively ban the process of creating memes, which are entirely driven by the ability to take an image or video and then edit it to provide some humor. Under the new directive, this will be prohibited, as will the remix of any song, unless the remixer had written consent from the original artist to use their work.

The goal of Article 13 is to try and create a shift towards more original content on the Internet, but many who rely on remixing or remaking content may be hurt.

Article 13 will require any media website to remove content that infringes copyright and show they took prior care to prohibit the upload of anything protected by copyright. If they fail to comply, it would likely lead to a fine.

The simplest and most likely solution for companies is to block all EU user-generated content from sites that host it at the point of upload.

This is because as soon as copyrighted work has been published to the world, it immediately breaks the law and then the site would become legally liable for the punishment of breaking copyright law.

Because of the extent of content that is published on these sites, like on Youtube, where 300 hours of video are uploaded every minute, they cannot possibly regulate and decide which videos actually infringe copyright. With all of that content, they can’t physically go through and check every video.

EU member countries have two years to decide how to enforce Article 13, but it will have a serious impact on Internet content not only in Europe, but worldwide as well.




Senioritis plagues students

As the second semester rolls through the school year, many students are starting to show effects of the dreaded “senioritis”. It’s the time of year when students, reflect lazier and decreased performance in school.

Students tend to lose motivation and feel as if their workload for the year should be over. This affects their grades and the attitude of their teachers. This is a problem when it comes to getting work done and to move through the curriculum fluidly. senioritis should be treated by having more emphasis on it; teachers need to address this problem head on, and talk to them about how their grades still matter and that same attitude would continue into their college days.

Bonnie Vining, an English teacher deals with continuous senioritis, with both her upperclassmen and lower class men.

“I think senioritis happens because when students are seniors, they’ve completed their SOLs and college apps. A majority of them have their future planned out and know where they’re heading to school; so by the time spring rolls around, they feel like they’re done with school. I was the same way when I was in high school, but I knew I had to keep going,” Vining said.

If able to control the school system, Vining would, “only make seniors go to school for a semester, and then have them work or participate in an internship in the spring because I think they’ve done enough by the time they reached the new year.”




Celebrity slandering on TV is getting out of hand

HBO is under fire for their documentaries such as Leaving Neverland, The Case Against Adnan Syed and Surviving R.Kelly for going against the decisions that the U.S. legal system made. These documentaries re-explore the cases and promise the viewers that they are going to reveal the “truth.” But is HBO doing all this just to catch more viewers?

Michael Jackson’s trial, in which he was accused of molesting the underaged Gavin Arvizo, was a big deal when it first happened in 2005. Although he was acquitted and found not guilty, people still have their doubts. This case should be settled. However, HBO has reignited the controversy. That’s the power of Jackson’s celebrity even years after his death. Of course, Leaving Neverland, a documentary that features two of Jackson’s former friends Wade Robson and James Safechuck alleging that they were raped repeatedly by the mega-star, was going to draw similar attention.

“There could be a possibility that some people make false statements about big names,” senior Tahid Mamun said. “But I don’t understand why they feel the need to hurt someone’s reputation that bad. I don’t believe Michael Jackson raped his former friends.”

Networks like HBO and the rest of the entertainment industry would indeed hurt big named artists to increase their ratings and make more money. Stars like Michael Jackson could be innocent, but since the network is so popular, the audience will take the side. He’s no longer around as well to defend himself.

In an interview on CBS Network with Gayle King on March 8, former artist R.Kelly claimed that the documentary Surviving R.Kelly is all a lie. He claims they made him sound like a devil and that he could never treat women in such a way. He blamed the documentary for ruining his reputation and making everyone believe that he committed all of those nasty crimes.

“I watched the documentary about R.Kelly as soon as I heard it was released,” senior Hlina Wondwossen said. “I believe everything that the documentary said. There’s no way people can just make stuff up like that.”

At a certain point, it becomes essential to ask: are the questions raised in these documentaries worth the pain they inevitably inflict on these stars’ loved ones?




Hypocrisy grows among Democrats

With the 2018 midterm elections now far in hindsight, it is time to begin looking at the record of the freshman class of representatives and senators thus far.

When taking a step back, it is evident that two things have become even further emphasized by the new faces to Congress on the Democratic side, hypocrisy and extremism.

Just weeks ago, newly elected Congresswoman from Minnesota’s 5th congressional district Rep. Ilhan Omar, came under fire for her allegedly anti-Semitic comments about the influence of the Israeli government and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).

In her statement, Omar said, “I want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is okay for people to push for allegiance to a foreign country.”

Omar’s use of the word “allegiance” in reference to Israel sparked criticism as the use of the word has ties to anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, and rightfully so. Although Omar has since somewhat apologized for her remarks, saying they were misinterpreted, this is not the first time that she has displayed animosity towards Israel.

Moreover, the most egregious display of hypocrisy comes from House Democrats including Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Rather than disavow Omar for her comments, many top-ranking Democrats in Congress opted to defend her instead.

In the light of Omar’s comments, the house should have held a real vote to condemn her statements. Instead, the resolution brought to the floor by Pelosi and House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn says nothing of significance.

Pelosi went on to make excuses for Omar saying that she “did not understand the full weight of her words.”

The stark hypocrisy comes into play when analyzing the manner in which the Democrats handled this case of hateful speech compared to that of the GOP.

Back in January, House Republicans led by Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy voted to unanimously disavow white supremacist comments made by Rep. Steve King of Iowa. The GOP did not stop there, as they also stripped King of his committee assignments.

The ho-hum and insincere attitude of Democratic leadership in response to Omar is inexcusable. For someone who has a seat on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Omar should have indefinitely been removed and stripped of her committee assignments. Nonetheless, she was not even directly decried as her district remains angered and recruits 2020 primary challengers to go against Omar.

As for extremism, there is not a single freshman representative who displays it in as pronounced a way as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York. For starters, Ocasio-Cortez has been nothing but an endless fountain of idiotic and uneducated statements since entering Congress.

A self-described socialist, Ocasio-Cortez personifies ideological extremism. Just over a month ago on Feb.7, Ocasio-Cortez alongside introduced the Green New Deal resolution alongside Senator Ed Markey of Massachusetts.

The GDN mentions an unreal amount of outlandish, unrealistic and flat-out nonsensical proposals. The resolution entails a number of horrid socialist priorities such as universal healthcare, universal basic income and placing more restrictions on businesses and the business environment.

As if this proposal wasn’t preposterous enough, Ocasio-Cortez has not mentioned any clear way in which any of its priorities will be paid for. However, it is expected that if the GDN would go into effect, it would cost an overwhelming and unacceptable $93 trillion.

As a further matter, Ocasio-Cortez’s ineptitude was demonstrated in her clumsy debacle with Amazon. As of last year, Amazon planned last year to plant one of its new headquarters in New York City within Ocasio-Cortez’ jurisdiction in Queens.

The freshman congresswoman’s opposition to the deal resulted in Amazon pulling out of NYC, costing the city over 25,000 jobs in addition to an approximated $4 billion in lost wages which would have gone to working-classing class individuals.

Ocasio-Cortez’ sheer incompetence drew ire from members of her district who overwhelmingly supported the Amazon deal as well as Mayor Bill de Blasio and Governor Andrew Cuomo.

Ocasio-Cortez’ comments on the New Zealand massacre caused a backlash amongst representatives. Representative Dan Crenshaw (R), a former Navy Seal, took Ocasio-Cortez’ tweets and messages which attacked groups such as the NRA and bringing the event which is still being mourned upon, to politics. “If you find yourself using the tragedy in New Zealand to take backhanded swipes at conservatives in America — many of my colleagues already have — then you really have no shame and you are part of the problem. It should be easy for us to stand united and condemn terrorism,” Crenshaw replied.
Crenshaw, a pronounced Republican has taken action on social media to combat opposing views.




Privilege and the college admissions scandal

A huge college admission scheme was unveiled on Tues. March 12 was the largest of its kind the Justice Department has ever seen, prosecutors said. The scheme involved at least 50 offenders across six states, millions of dollars in illegally wired funds and a handful of the country’s most selective and competitive universities like Yale, Stanford and other big-name schools.

Thirty-three wealthy parents were charged in the case, including Hollywood celebrities like actress Felicity Huffman and TV star Lori Loughlin as well as some big-name business leaders.

The authorities say the parents of some of the nation’s wealthiest and most privileged students bought and bribed spots for their children at top universities, not only cheating the system, but potentially cheating other hard-working students out of a chance at a college education.

Also being prosecuted are top college athletic coaches, who were accused of accepting millions of dollars to help admit undeserving students to a wide variety of colleges. This means that these parents had the audacity to make their children seem like college level athletes and scholars, just to get into a good school.

This reminds me of something that is legally going on in America, legacy admissions. Studies show that universities that admit legacy applicants at more than five times the rate of non-legacies. In fact, having an alum as a parent is said to increase an applicants by 45 percentage points. That is, if one candidate has an 30% chance of admission, another applicant who has the same chances, but has a parent who attended the school will undoubtedly be chosen over the other.

It shouldn’t matter that wealthy graduates of colleges provide funds and donations to the colleges, as college should be all about equal opportunity.
Supporters of the practice argue that its about “tradition” but it’s pretty clear that is about money and personal gain. To me, that “tradition” seems more like inherited aristocracy and undeserved gains.

All this just comes to show the unfair admissions process in America very openly favors wealthier students and how children of alumni already have an incredible built-in advantage merely by being the children of college graduates from elite universities. The real victims of both legacy admissions and the fraud scheme are the millions of hard working students that actually put in the work to get into a good school.




Freedom of speech on social media

One of the biggest appeals of social media for many people is the ability to say whatever you want, whenever you want. However as good as this seems, it can quickly reach an extreme, and companies feel they have a responsibility to regulate it.

One big recent spark was provided by Alex Jones. He is an infamous conspiracy theorist who has long floated patently false claims that child-sex rings run by prominent public figures (like Robert Mueller and Hillary Clinton) are operating right under our noses, and that the Sandy Hook shooting was a hoax staged by gun-control activists. In August of 2018, social media companies decided they had had enough.

YouTube took down Jones’ channel, which had 2.4 million subscribers, saying it violated the firm’s policy on hate speech, and Apple dropped some of Jones’ InfoWars podcasts from its app for the same reason. Facebook removed some of his pages, saying they were “glorifying violence” and using “dehumanizing language to describe people who are transgender, Muslims and immigrants.” Twitter eventually suspended Jones and InfoWars as well, for what it called repeated violations of its policy against abusive behavior.

Jones cried censorship. Now, social media companies are caught between a rock and a hard place. They want to create a pleasant environment for users, while also upholding the American value of free speech.

In 1996, in the case Reno vs ACLU, a unanimous Supreme Court decision extended the First Amendment to written, visual and spoken expression posted on the Internet. But this also extends to the limits on free speech as well, which include fighting words and speech advocating illegal activity. Social media companies try their best to regulate this, but the massive amount of users they have to oversee is challenging.

The main problem with this is if there are extreme viewpoints that are not caught by companies. The setup of social media can create an echo chamber and can disillusion those caught in the middle of it because of the algorithms that promote engaging content, in a feedback loop that, link by link, guides new audiences to toxic ideas. Many radicalists who commit serious crimes were later found out to have a presence on social media linking to many hateful and violent ideas.

True freedom of speech is not possible, nor should it be when such radical ideas are spread on social media. Social media companies should try their best to respect freedom of speech whenever possible, while also realizing their responsibility to prevent hateful and violent speech as well.




Paid to play? College athletes should be compensated fairly

Being a college athlete is almost like having a full-time job. They have to balance long practices and game days with their schoolwork and studies. Many argue that they receive compensation in the form of a college education, but is this really enough? Their long days leaves no opportunities for them to earn any kind of money through working. This means many of them live a lifestyle that doesn’t match the revenue they generate for their university. There is a solution to this, but the NCAA seems unwilling to change.

Since student-athletes bring in revenue for their team and college or university, those who debate in favor of paying them say the students could receive a small portion of the profits. Yes, pay would vary, just as the universities with the more successful teams receive more television time or money than those with less successful teams. College football and men’s basketball programs earn far more than any other athletic program, so these athletes would likely earn more as well. This may not be considered fair pay, but many of those who argue in support of paying college players point out that team popularity and consumers generally determine what is considered fair.

Another possible solution if the NCAA refuses to change college athletes from amateurs to professionals is allowing college athletes to profit off their own image. College athletes would remain amateur, in the sense that they don’t receive any kind of salary, but allowing them to profit off their image would allow them to pursue endorsements.

Under current rules, the NCAA is very strict about any kind of money that college athletes make. UCF kicker Donald De La Haye had his scholarship removed because he had a YouTube channel where he posted football videos, among others. His channel had 700k subscribers at that point, so he was making significant money, but the NCAA said it was not permitted because he was using his name with sports activities. De La Haye isn’t the only student-athlete to be screwed by the NCAA. Dakota and Dylan Gonzalez, women’s basketball players at UNLV, had to give up their last year of eligibility in order to pursue a career in music. Joel Bauman, a wrestler at Minnesota, was deemed ineligible after selling a hip-hop song he made on iTunes.

The NCAA seems to want to control every aspect of their athletes lives, but they really need to take a step back and consider their mission statement that those who participate are students first and not professional athletes. The NCAA brings in $10.8 billion a year yet the student-athletes don’t see a cent of it. Playing a sport in college is a 40+ hour per week job and for the effort the players put in, they should be compensated.




New proposal to increase smoking age to 21

Everyone knows about the recent “Vape Epidemic” that has invaded high schools all over the country. It’s not really surprising that new legislation was proposed to raise the legal age to consume tobacco from 18 to 21. But this proposal is not the right solution.

The proposal first passed the Virginia Senate on Jan. 29 on a lopsided 32-to-8 vote and then passed the Virginia House on Feb. 11 on a 66-to-30 vote. The bill now goes to Gov. Ralph Northam, a former pediatrician, who as a state senator led a successful effort to ban smoking in Virginia restaurants.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention said in a report this week that 4.9 million middle and high school students were current users of some type of tobacco product in 2018, up from 3.6 million in 2017. Almost 21 percent of middle and high school aged students have tried e-cigarettes.

Although statistics do show an increased amount vaping and e-cigarette use in the past year, I don’t think raising the age will prevent teens from picking up the habit.

During the 1990s, for example, three communities in Massachusetts implemented a vigorous enforcement campaign against under-age tobacco sales. Advocates promised teen smoking would fall sharply when it became harder to buy cigarettes.

The result, according to a two-year study by medical school researchers, it is a failure. Strict enforcement of minimum-age laws did make it so fewer stores sold tobacco to minors. But surveys of high school students in those same communities revealed no effect on the ability of teens to get tobacco products and no reduction in the prevalence of smoking. In fact, there was an increase in teenage smoking compared with nearby communities that hadn’t cracked down.

All this just comes to show that making the legal age higher will just create a black market for it and kids in high school who are buying these tobacco products are already receiving it illegally.
This also shows hypocrisy in the sense that once you turn 18, you are a legal adult and are fully accountable for your decisions. You can vote, work, get married, and serve in the military, but drinking and smoking are illegal? To me, this doesn’t make much sense.

In fact, if the drinking age and smoking age are a milestone that people obtain at 18, it would create a controlled environment for these habits instead of at hostile conditions like at parties. And let’s face it, no one really waits until 21. A 2011 study by The Partnership at Drugfree.org showed that the average age at which teens had their first drink was 14.

People do argue that having the drinking age at 18 would cause a spike in underage drinking because it would making alcohol consumption “less of a big deal” because of its accessibility. However, thinking of it as “less of a big deal” can be a good thing. That means alcohol would have lost its mysterious appeal.

The same idea with tobacco products, it would be “more mysterious.” It would create a greater appeal to teens because of its illegality.

With this change in law, the U.S. would mirror other countries. According to International Center for Alcohol Policies, the U.S. is one of a small number of countries to have a minimum drinking age of 21; almost all the rest have drinking ages ranging from 16 to 20.

At 18, we deserve the right truly to be full-fledged adults and make our own decisions. Whether it is drinking or smoking, we should be able to choose what we do with our bodies, internally and externally. We do not need the law to baby us any longer.




The media should wait to cover sexual assault allegations

Major political sexual assault cases have been all over the news recently. Justin Fairfax, lieutenant governor of Virginia, is currently facing sexual assault allegations dating to his college years in the early 2000s from two different women. In September, Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh faced allegations from Christine Blasey Ford about an alleged sexual assault that occurred during high school. The two cases have striking similarities, and both have been extensively covered in the news. However, both cases should never have received the attention they did.

First off, each case is one opinion against another. Each case occurred quite a while ago, there is a lack of evidence for either side. The case becomes a back and forth of accusations of who did what, leading to ad hominem arguments.

Secondly, when allegations are blown to the proportions that the Fairfax and Kavanaugh cases were, both the victims and defendant are tormented with abuse. Victims are harassed online and are accused of being liars and making up a story. Defendants are attacked by people calling them a rapist and receive tons of slander. The defendant also suffers from a permanently damaged reputation, whether or not the allegation is true.

Cases on sexual assault should ot be covered until there is sufficient evidence for a proper verdict. Accusations that are overblown by the media that create a scene are helpful to no one and solely create controversy.

When the media waits until there is a verdict, it takes away unnecessary attention and allows outrage to be directed fairly. In the cases of Fairfax and Kavanaugh, they would only receive criticism after the appropriate verdict was found, and the victims would receive support after the truth is appropriately found out.




Waste of a vote

Republicans and Democrats are more and more isolated by the day, and an increasing number of Americans feel left out. A poll by Gallup discovered that only 39% of Americans have a favorable opinion of how the two main parties are leading America, and 43 % of Americans call themselves “independent.”

But will this change anything at all in the political process?

The debate over third party candidates was reignited after former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz announced he was considering running as an independent in the 2020 election. He received abuse from both Democrats and Republicans as Michael Bloomberg said “an independent would just split the anti-Trump vote” and Donald Trump said “Howard Schultz doesn’t have the guts to run for President!”

“I think the U.S. has such a strong history of two parties that has made it impossible for third party candidates to really have a chance of winning. Maybe at the local level [they could win],” Government teacher Kellie Burke said. “For a third party candidate to be successful it would have to take an implosion of one of the main parties, or continued local success. I think it’s unlikely for a third party candidate to win a seat in Congress or the presidency.”

This two party system is really a uniquity to the United States. Most democratic countries have more than two parties. In Israel, for example, twelve parties or party alliances held seats in the national legislature. Japan has several major parties, including the Liberal Democratic Party, the Democratic Party of Japan, the New Komeito, and the Japanese Communist Party. It’s different in the U.S. because the whole election system is set up against third parties.

For one, each U.S. state has their own ballot access laws that determine who may appear on the ballots. These laws are supposed to prevent numerous candidates from being on the ballots, leading to splitting the votes of similarly minded voters, yet this type of election goes fine in other countries like France, Brazil and Spain.

The 1974 Federal Election Campaign Act is another obstacle for third parties. Third parties are only eligible to receive public funds after the November election and then only if they appear on the ballot in at least ten states and obtain at least five percent of the national popular vote are they allowed to continue to the general election.

A final reason is a lack of media coverage. The media hypes up Republican and Democratic candidates and barely covers third parties. Donald Trump received the support he did because of the extensive TV time the media gave him.

The reality is third party candidates will probably not be able to carve out a significant role in the U.S. government beyond raising important issues for major political parties to address. Anything beyond this is pretty challenging considering the lack of a platform they receive.

“I don’t think I could ever vote for a third party candidate. Voting for a third party candidate feels like a useless vote,” senior Izzudeen Yahia said. “They end up finishing millions of votes behind anyway.”

All third parties combined received about 5% of the total vote during the 2016 election. It seems likely this percentage won’t change in 2020, even amid a growing number of Americans who are unhappy with current leadership.




Governor feeling the heat

This past week, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam made headlines regarding a radical pro-choice comment said during an interview.  Just two days later, journalists reported on a racist image on Northam’s medical school yearbook page. Now, the big elephant in the room is if or when will Northam resign?  

On Jan. 30, Northam was responding to questions from reporters asking about his support for a then-proposed bill to reduce the restrictions on late-term abortions.

“If a mother is in labor, I can tell you exactly what would happen. The infant would be delivered,” Northam said. “The infant would be kept comfortable. The infant would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desired, and then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother.”

Although the question was strictly about the procedure itself, Northam, who is a pediatric neurologist, obviously felt qualified enough to answer.  In short, Northam is clearly advocating for the ability of mothers to decide to abort their children after birth. The age-old defense of Democrats and Pro-Choicers, that abortions are permitted if the mother’s life is in danger, is no longer valid as the child can no longer be a threat to the mother’s health after they are born.

Unfortunately, the description of the procedure given by Gov. Northam is already in practice and few states have clear restrictions on abortions in general. Gov. Northams’ attempt to add Virginia to the mix was ill received and denied.

Governor Northam made headlines just a few days later following the revelation of a 1984 Eastern Virginia Medical School yearbook photo of two individuals, one was wearing a Klan hood, and the other was wearing “blackface,” on his yearbook page.

On Feb. 1, Northam apologized and acknowledged that he was in the photo.  However, later in the day, the Virginia Black Legislative Caucus and many high-profile Democrats called for his resignation.

Governor Northam contradicted his previous states by adamantly denying his presence in the photos this past Friday, Feb. 2. Just after promising to stay in office, Northam admits to wearing blackface to look like Michael Jackson for a dance contest.

Although it seems unlikely that the Governor would resign willingly, if that were to happen, his replacement has gained controversy already.  Lt Gov. Justin Fairfax is a young and fairly inexperienced politician who faced a sexual misconduct allegation. Fairfax denied the allegations better than his potential predecessor simply by not changing his statement two or three times.

Many fear that  Northam and Fairfax may bring about a new era of doubt in our Virginia government.