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Editorial: Virginia governor fumbles on NFL team's racist mascot

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The Washington Post takes Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) to task for refusing to condemn the Washington NFL team's racist mascot:
Earlier this month, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) could have joined Ms. Clinton, President Obama and 50 members of the U.S. Senate — as well as his neighbor Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) — in asking Mr. Snyder to change his mind. He refused.

“Listen, I’ve continuously said it is not up to a governor to tell a private business what to do with their business,” Mr. McAuliffe said during a visit to the team’s training camp. “I’m about growing our economy, diversifying our economy. I’m not in the business of telling private businesses what to do.”

He added, “I am appreciative of what the Washington Redskins have meant to the Commonwealth of Virginia. All the players live in Virginia. Most of the season-ticket holders, I’m told, are Virginians. . . . My perspective as governor is [that] I love the economic activity.”

If his self-censorship is genuine, Mr. McAuliffe must have had a huge change of heart. Last fall, Mr. McAuliffe condemned the planting of a Confederate flag on private land. Yet 10 months later, he insists that he cannot tell a private business to remove an offensive word emblazoned on its uniforms. There are scant differences between the two scenarios except for the politics: two-thirds of Virginians support keeping the Redskins’ name, while cultural and demographic evolutions have made criticizing Confederate flags politically safe, as a George Mason University professor said.

Get the Story:
Editorial: Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe fumbles on the Redskins name (The Washington Post 8/14)

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