ChrisWeigant.com

Virginia Democrats In Free Fall

[ Posted Wednesday, February 6th, 2019 – 18:14 UTC ]

Virginia Democrats seem to be in free fall, dropping fast with a very hard landing soon ahead. At least, that's the way it looks from the outside looking in. The top three political jobs in the state are all now held by men who either dressed up in blackface long ago or have been accused of sexual assault. The situation is now so bad that people are looking at who is third in line to succeed the governor -- and it turns out that the third guy in line happens to be a Republican, which complicates matters even further.

Governor Ralph Northam has yet to resign, five days after an indefensible photo of two men in costume surfaced from his medical school yearbook. The photo is about as awful as you can imagine, since it shows one man in blackface and another wearing Ku Klux Klan robes (complete with pointy hood). About the only way it could have been worse would have been if a noose had been in the photo, really.

Northam hasn't exactly handled the scandal well. He first apologized for being in the photo, and then a day later somehow decided that neither of the two people in the photo was actually him. What with the heavy blackface and the hood, it's almost impossible to tell who was in the photo. Northam then made things worse for himself by admitting that he had appeared in blackface during the same year as the photo (1984), portraying Michael Jackson in a dance contest. He almost took a reporter's challenge up to perform a moonwalk, but lucky for him his wife was at his side to quash that idea. He also said he had never seen the photo before and had no idea where it had come from.

All of this strains believability, of course. This was his senior page in the yearbook, which means he alone was supposed to be in charge of deciding what would appear on it. In other words, he must have given that photo to the yearbook's editors. He has offered no possible explanation for how this could have happened otherwise.

Also hard to believe is that he's never seen the photo before. Now, perhaps he didn't buy a yearbook. They're optional, after all. But even so, it's almost impossible to believe that he never saw a single copy of the yearbook. Especially with such a provocative (to be polite) photo on his own page. He's essentially saying that nobody in the school who did get a yearbook ever contacted him -- either in outrage or to laugh -- about that photo. Nobody ever asked him: "What the heck is going on in that picture, Ralph?" If the photo had been as innocuous as the other photos on that page, that might have been believable, but it wasn't. It was outrageous, in the literal sense. And yet nobody was outraged? Nobody said a single word to him about it? Did the school have any black students in it at all? Perhaps Northam has some explanation of how all of this could possibly be, but so far I haven't heard it yet.

Northam is reportedly now looking into the matter. He wants to know who is in the photo and how it got onto his yearbook page. Assuming for one minute that his story is the truth, this may turn out to be impossible to prove (or disprove). Supposed it was some sort of prank -- "Hey, let's put this photo on Ralph's page!" If true, then who in their right mind is going to come forward today and admit to doing so? The backlash over the photo is already so intense that it might be a career-ending move for anyone to admit either (1) being in the photo (either with or without Northam), or (2) inserting it onto his yearbook page without his knowledge. Plus, it has been 35 years, meaning it's a very cold case indeed.

First in line for the governor's office, should Northam decide to step down, is Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax, who has now been accused by a woman who says he either sexually assaulted or raped her (the legal definition of the crime would likely depend on the laws where it happened, which I have not investigated). At the 2004 Democratic National Convention, Vanessa Tyson went back to Fairfax's hotel room with him. According to her, they kissed consensually, but then he forced her head down and forced her to perform oral sex on him. This is a very serious allegation, of course. He admits that the sex happened, but absolutely denies there was any coercion. He says the entire encounter was consensual.

In this age of zero tolerance and #MeToo, Democrats are really painted into a corner. To be consistent with the new moral rules of conduct, they are supposed to believe the woman and condemn the man. Anything else, given the Brett Kavanaugh situation, would be hypocritical. Or considering how Al Franken's situation was handled, for that matter. Fairfax should have to resign, if the rules haven't suddenly changed.

Second in line to the governor's office is the state's attorney general, Mark Herring. He just came out today and admitted that he also donned blackface when he was a young man. He says he was a fan of Kurtis Blow, the first successful rap star ever, and dressed as him for a party. Including blackface. Herring had called on Northam to resign right after the scandal broke, before admitting his own blackface transgression. The fact that he made this admission now probably means someone else had the story and was about to run it, one assumes. Or that he was afraid there were pictures of him out there somewhere that could come back to haunt him (as that other photo is now haunting Northam). Either way, he decided to get ahead of the story and put his cards on the table. But not before he had called on Northam to resign, which complicates his situation a bit.

Because nobody's resigned yet, the whole situation is still very unsettled. The question that now has to be asked (as distasteful as it is) is whether blackface is absolutely unacceptable in any time and any circumstance for a public official. Herring was only 19, but Northam was reportedly 25 at the time of the yearbook. How old is too old, or is anyone to be condemned for such a costume at any age? Does it matter how long ago it happened? Does the context matter? The yearbook photo is pretty indefensible on the face of it, but the two incidents that the two men have admitted to are not as cut and dried. In both cases, they dressed up as popular music stars. In Northam's case, this was for a performance onstage (a dance contest). Herring says he and others "performed a song" at the party. Does any of that matter, or not?

An interesting side note to the scandal is that two late-night comedians, Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel, have so far refrained from making any jokes about blackface. There's a reason for this, and the reason is that both of them have worn blackface in comedy sketches before. So it'd be a little hypocritical for them to now be casting blame. Saturday Night Live didn't just air the Fallon sketches, it actually used a white actor (with a darkened face) to portray President Barack Obama for a while. And that wasn't all that long ago. So, is it still somehow acceptable for blackface to be used in comedy, as long as it doesn't devolve into outright minstrelsy? Is it acceptable when portraying a black musician, whether on a stage or at a party, as long as the intent was an homage rather than mocking? Or is it a matter of zero tolerance across the board?

I must admit that I have no answers for any of these questions. I cannot be the arbiter of the propriety of using blackface under various circumstances. Zero tolerance, whether for sexual assault allegations or for blackface, can lead to unforeseen consequences. If all three men decided they had to step down, then Virginia would get a Republican governor for the next three years, for instance.

That yearbook photo is impossible to defend, I do know that much. Even in 1984 in Virginia, it would have been pretty impossible to defend. In fact, I have no idea how such a thing could have gotten into any school's yearbook, especially at the graduate school level. Where were the editors whose job it was to say, "Sorry, that's unacceptable"? This wasn't 1924 or 1954, after all, it was 1984. By that point, images even pretending to glorify the K.K.K. were already absolutely unacceptable in polite society, in other words.

I have no idea what the outcome of this ever-expanding scandal will be. Will the Democratic Party stand for zero tolerance above all else and hand the governorship over to the GOP? They'd be taking a moral stand by doing so, and could claim the high road going forward. That might be more important to the national party than losing one governor's seat that they could likely regain at some point in the future. Because this is Virginia -- home to the capital of the Confederacy -- the racial questions are even more acute. Virginia, like some Southern states, has long struggled with its own slave-owning past, and the subject of removing Confederate statues was what sparked the riots in Charlottesville in the first place. This isn't an academic matter, in other words, as it might have been in some state outside the Confederacy.

Or will at least one of the three men refuse to resign? None of these are really impeachable offenses, since all occurred long before they took office. The Republicans in the legislature have so far been content to sit back and watch the Democrats self-destruct, but what will they do if one or more of them refuses to go? They might actually decide that the continuing Democratic embarrassment boosts their chances in the next few elections, and decide to allow the status quo to continue.

When weighing what the outcome should be, it's important to note that the Republican who would take over if all three Democrats stepped down is reportedly an open supporter of Confederate monuments. So is a flawed Democrat who actually has been working for equality during his political career better or worse to lead the state than a Republican who would not do so? That's a very tough question, and it ultimately will be for the people of Virginia to decide.

-- Chris Weigant

 

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

 

16 Comments on “Virginia Democrats In Free Fall”

  1. [1] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    this column seems wrong without michale to gloat over it.

  2. [2] 
    Paula wrote:

    Good column.

    On Twitter I've seen several thread where people are giving examples of all kinds of racist stuff going on on their campuses in the 80's, 90's and aughts. U of Alabama de-segregated their Greek system in 2014.

    What we're going through now is a transition and it's painful. Lots of dirty linen coming out. Reckonings are messy and claim victims who may not deserve it along with those who do. The hope is that you come out the other side in a better place, and certainly, America's racism problem can't be addressed unless it's exposed to light. Racism's twin is white privilege and changing that means lots of people have to look at behaviors/beliefs they've not examined and no one likes having to do that. But there it is.

    Problem is, we're also going through a genuine crisis in our democracy and our bulwark against the Blotus-led/GOP enabled lurch into Putin-favoring authoritarianism is the Democratic Party.

    Not sure what "the answer" is, but it isn't trial by media. If I ruled the Democratic Party I'd already have a task-force developing some rules of engagement to use when allegations of bad behavior are alleged against a seemingly "good" Dem office-holder. A big element, for me, would be a review of their actions in office - how did they actually use their powers? I think that's especially important for a Northam or Herring who are being accused of what are essentially "thought crimes" i.e. wearing blackface means they harbored racist thoughts/beliefs vs. simply being insensitive, etc. (On my personal scale, wearing a KKK outfit is worse by orders of magnitude than donning blackface - we don't know which, if either, Northam did.) Fairfax, if guilty, did something worse (I think) in that he DID something to someone else.

    But to me, what people "think" isn't what's important in politics, it's what they do. The Repubs constantly claim to think all sorts of defensible, even theoretically noble things, which they betray through their official actions (as well as statements that contradict their claimed beliefs).

    So it's one thing if Northam was a racist in Med School and then spent years being an active racist vs. him graduating, going out into the world and NOT being an active racist. Ditto Herring. In those cases I think some form of truth & reconciliation is possible, assuming these guys are sincere and have, in fact, evolved.

    I do think people can grow and change and can atone. Maybe Northam bungled it too badly to survive, but I think Herring did the right thing and has a shot at surviving politically. And, from a purely pragmatic standpoint I can appreciate Herring getting out in front of this even if it's ultimately self-serving. It means he grasps the zeitgeist which is something good politicians need to do.

    At any rate, what I emphatically do NOT want to see is the governorship of VA flipping to a Repub. However this shakes out I hope cool heads somewhere find a way to ensure that doesn't happen. I neither want Northam or Herring to fall on the swords in homage to demands for perfection nor Dem leaders to demand that perfection if the price is to put a Repub back in charge. In my view that would ultimately create far more harm to far more people than would allowing these guys to do penance and stay in their jobs until they can be replaced by other Dems.

    Also, if I were in charge of Dems I would be hammering down on vetting/background checking across the board - certainly going forward.

  3. [3] 
    Mezzomamma wrote:

    You would think that PROs and others would by now advise apologizing and explaining for damage limitation, since denial tends to make things worse. 'Yes, people at my school/in my circle thought-- blackface was harmless fun--saw KKK costume as historical but trivial--accepted racism-- and to my shame, I didn't question that at the time. I deeply and truly regret that now and I apologize unreservedly to [fill in the gaps: party, state, colleagues, others], and especially to my fellow Americans of color.' Then say something about how and why you learned better, giving tribute to colleagues, friends, people who inspired you--and if you can't come up with any of these, we might ask just how sincere this is. If the apology appears to be sincere and the person's current actions show they really have changed, that might be a valuable quality.

    The same goes for lesser sexual incidents (begging the question of what is 'lesser'.)

    As far as truth and reconciliation goes, that has to be offered by the oppressed group, not the dominant one.

  4. [4] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    To be consistent with the new moral rules of conduct, they are supposed to believe the woman and condemn the man. Anything else, given the Brett Kavanaugh situation, would be hypocritical. Or considering how Al Franken's situation was handled, for that matter. Fairfax should have to resign, if the rules haven't suddenly changed.

    Nope! Gotta disagree with you on this one! The “new moral rules of conduct” go against everything that we claim defines “justice” in our society. There is no “innocent until proven guilty” when we demand the accused be punished without allowing them the opportunity to defend themselves.

    Not to mention that this is about a photo from 1984... and everyone seems quite willing to destroy a person’s career and reputation while completely ignoring their accomplishments and political service to their state over the past three decades.

    Could the costumes be a guy dressed as Bubbles the chimp and the other dressed as a pup tent? Could they have been part of a seminar on “Cultural and Racial insensitivity in America today” and were meant to demonstrate unacceptable outfits?

    What if I was going as Blazing Saddles’ star, Cleavon Little, in his portrayal of “Bart” the black sheriff who infiltrated the KKK wearing the white rob and hood — would my wearing the black makeup underneath the white hood be OK? Would doing the two together cancel each other’s stigmas out?

    Can anyone tell me why “blackface” (which apparently now is defined solely as someone putting on makeup to appear a different race but how they portray that race is irrelevant) is racist, but drag queens aren’t sexist?

    Should any straight actor who ever portrayed a gay guy as a flaming queen be blacklisted? Should we require the FBI interview every sexual partner a political candidate has ever been with prior to allowing them to be on a ballot?

    Kavanaugh’s opposition should have put all of the focus on him being a black out drunk back then — which means that he cannot say that he knows for certain that the accusations against him could not be true. Had Kavanaugh admitted to drinking to the point of blacking out, then he could have said that he has no memory of committing such a horrific crime and while he can offer no defense to the allegations against him, it sickens him to know that his accuser suffered for decades because of him. Kavanaugh could have promised that he would strive to be a better judge when it came to cases of sexual assault. That should have been enough for him to still get confirmed while acknowledging her suffering.

    We cannot become a society where the facts do not matter when allegations of wrongdoing have been made. There is great irony in the fact that those calling for Northam to resign also oppose mandatory sentences and 3 strike laws!

  5. [5] 
    Kick wrote:

    Russ
    4

    Can anyone tell me why “blackface” (which apparently now is defined solely as someone putting on makeup to appear a different race but how they portray that race is irrelevant) is racist, but drag queens aren’t sexist?

    *shakes head*

    I can be infinitely boring, and my nickname is "Queen"... as in "her royal highness." Does that make me a drag queen? ;)

    I dressed up like Cher once and had to wear darker makeup and quite a bit more cleavage to achieve the look. Would that make me a drag queen in blackface, darling? As a teenager, I once spent 90% of my summer vacation outside and came back to school darker than a few of my non-Caucasian friends. You should have seen the looks on their faces. They took turns with me playing "who is darker" and asking me how I achieved my "tone." I explained to them that I'm part Native American, and that's just what happens to my skin the longer I spend time in the sun. No one demanded proof of my ancestry or hurled Indian slurs at me. I will be running for political office in 2020 or never, whichever comes second. ;)

    Should any straight actor who ever portrayed a gay guy as a flaming queen be blacklisted?

    Define "flaming," and wouldn't that depend on the queen they portrayed? My money is on Rami Malek to take home the Oscar in goldface for his portrayal of Freddie Mercury... my favourite Queen... as in the band "Queen." And why do they call it blacklisted anyway?

    Should we require the FBI interview every sexual partner a political candidate has ever been with prior to allowing them to be on a ballot?

    Oh, Hell no! Make the CIA do that shit. ;)
    _______________________

    Seriously, though, Russ and Paula make a lot of great points. In my opinion, Kirsten Gillibrand started all this when she saw an opportunity to neutralize her competition and then everyone piled on Al Franken during the Roger Stone right-wing hit job. Speaking of Stone, he will flip or die in prison like the rest of them. Back on topic, everything has just snowballed from there with the PC BS going absolutely haywire on the left while Benedict Donald feels free to hurl racial and sexist epithets to his hearts content... all while wearing orangeface with zero regard whatsoever for the feelings of the Oompa Loompas. Oh well, at least his prison jumpsuit will match his face. :)

  6. [6] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    "The question that now has to be asked (as distasteful as it is) is whether blackface is absolutely unacceptable in any time or any circumstance for a public official."

    No, it doesn't. You and anyone can choose to join the chorus on the distraction of the moment or you can choose to ignore the distraction of the moment.

    The real question that has to be asked NOW (as difficult as it may be to examine and resolve) is whether taking Big Money is at all acceptable for public officials in any circumstance now, whether or not they they took Big Money any other time.

    As in the Indians Jones movie you can choose the "grail" that is shiny and covered with precious stones or the plain simple "grail".

  7. [7] 
    John M wrote:

    I agree that a lot of this has to be taken in context, both at the time it happened and in the behavior since.

    I think appearing in a KKK outfit complete with white hood is pretty clear, and totally without defense.

    Appearing in black face can simply be insensitive and ignorant, especially among someone in their teens or twenties, given the context of trying to portray a well known public figure of another race in an entertainment performance, without the more sinister connotations of putting on a full blown minstrel show or a generic costume meant to poke fun or ridicule.

    For example, on the show Designing Women when the ladies portrayed and sang as the Supremes and Suzanne thought she had to don blackface to do it but the other ladies did not, they just wore the costumes and hairstyles but stayed as themselves.

  8. [8] 
    John M wrote:

    ListenWhenYouHear

    "What if I was going as Blazing Saddles’ star, Cleavon Little, in his portrayal of “Bart” the black sheriff who infiltrated the KKK wearing the white rob and hood — would my wearing the black makeup underneath the white hood be OK? Would doing the two together cancel each other’s stigmas out?"

    I would say no. Because it would still be a white guy pretending to be a black guy but still a white guy wearing a KKK outfit. If he was revealed to the other KKK members they would probably think his being in black face as hilarious and he would be in no real danger, while Cleavon Little would be in extreme danger because he would obviously be infiltrating their group for a totally different purpose. Context, again, is what I am trying to get at.

    "Can anyone tell me why “blackface” (which apparently now is defined solely as someone putting on makeup to appear a different race but how they portray that race is irrelevant) is racist, but drag queens aren’t sexist?

    Should any straight actor who ever portrayed a gay guy as a flaming queen be blacklisted?"

    Ok, I will take a stab at it. To quote Data and his daughter Lal from Star Trek Next Gen:

    Lal:
    Then, judging from their laughter, the children at school found my remarks humorous. So without understanding humor, I have somehow mastered it.

    Lt. Cmdr. Data:
    [... ] Lal.

    Lal:
    Yes, Father?

    Lt. Cmdr. Data:
    The children were not laughing with you, they were laughing *at* you.

    Lal:
    Explain.

    Lt. Cmdr. Data:
    One is meant kindly, the other is not.

    Another factor to consider, besides context, I.E. Drag Queens are not trying to demean women but actually just the opposite, otherwise they would not chose so many Icons to celebrate like Cher, and would not try to be glamorous but would instead exaggerate features to the point of being deliberately ugly and stereotypical.

    The same with the straight guy portraying a gay man as flaming. Was the character he is portraying a real individual who was actually like that in real life, or is that simply his notion of how all gay men are regardless, and for what purpose is he doing it?

    Finally there is the difference in power dynamic involved. A white male majority with all the power vs an oppressed minority with very little power at all. That's why blackface tends to be inherently racist.

  9. [9] 
    John M wrote:

    The rest of that scene was:

    Lal:
    Why would they wish to be unkind?

    Lt. Cmdr. Data:
    Because you are different. Differences sometimes scare people. I have learned that some of them use humor to hide their fear.

    Lal:
    I do not wish to be different.

    Star Trek sometimes really manages to sum things up in a nutshell.

    Fear and insecurity are something we all have to deal with. But some bullies deal with it by attacking others in order to make themselves feel better. And others of us fall into the trap of internalizing that negativeness we experience as self hatred rather than taking being unique as a gift.

  10. [10] 
    TheStig wrote:

    1-5

    I think the discussion is drifting where it should not. "Race" and "racism" have been woven into the American Narrative since the arrival of permanent European settlers to the Americas. The past cannot be undone, but it can sure as Hell affect our current and future affairs in ways that are not good. The only way forward is for people to "shoot straight and speak the truth." This especially true for high profile people such as politicians and actors (or actors thinking of becoming politicians). It is even more especially true in an age of "electronic media" which is primarily driven by click bait feeding ad revenue.

    As a card carrying biologist (actually, no card, I just have ceremonial credentials hanging on my office wall and preprints in boxes in the closet) I detest the term race. It has no accepted biologically based definition.* Race is mostly short hand for ethnicity and social position. Genes flow merrily in and out of the ethnic and social labels. Back in grandparents day, their census said they were not White. My parents were censused as White. I marked White last time, or maybe Other, but only because there was no FU to tick.

    The Governor of VA was not honest with the public, that's why I think he has to go. Knee jerk litmus testing of everybody is just dancing to the tune played by the click bait electronic media. It puts revenue in their pocket.

    I don't recall ever meeting a black person until I went to summer camp (good ol' YMCA). I'm sure I used the N word at some point in my childhood - and I'm very certain my parents told me not to use it EVER the first time they heard it. I cannot be more specific. I went Trick or Treating as a bum with a bindle in the early to mid 60s, and semi-blacked my face with burnt cork to make a beard. This was insensitive to homeless people, but Red Skelton was doing it once a week, and kids ape what they see on the TV. I dressed up as Ayatollah Khomeini for a Halloween Party in Oct. 1980. I drove in costume with my wife (Robin Hood) to the party, and was stopped on the way by other students costumed as terrorists who had set up a road block in the street. I was waved thru to chants of "Allah Akbar." There may be video tape of this, the local News Crews were out because Halloween is newsworthy in a college town.

    * I'm not comfortable with a universal concept of "species," either. Or clades for that matter. Genes are opportunistic little buggers.

  11. [11] 
    Mezzomamma wrote:

    Stig--The father of a friend of mine grew up in South Africa. His full brother was classed 'white' but he was classed 'black' or 'coloured' and not allowed to go to the same school as his brother. I don't know what arbitrary criteria were used. (He was sent to England to go to school as a result and became a C of E vicar, a Rural Dean no less, by his retirement.)

    Even if there were any biological basis to 'race', it is thoroughly skunked as a classification.

  12. [12] 
    TheStig wrote:

    CW-

    Since yours is a cat themed column, I'd like to announce that Minerva, Grand Duchess of Kibble, Downton Tabby, Westminster Tabby and Founder of the Order of the Well Chewed Bird has taken on two "Royal Interns," Yoga Pants, Heir to the Title (Striped Tabby) and Sneakers, Lady in Waiting (Mostly black tortoise w/brown feet and forehead lockette). Proper Throne Names have yet to be determined. I thought about making this a column contest, but I'd only end up with something like Katty McKatFace, which would not amuse.

    The kits are sisters about 3 mos old and are litter box pros. They have temporarily taken up residence under and in the couch/bed in my office. (We'll get them something nice).

    Picked them up from my community pet adoption center (which places about 1600 dogs and cats each year}.

    In cat years, Minerva is about as old as Queen Elizabeth, so we must look to a smooth transition within our Unwritten Constitutional Autocracy.

  13. [13] 
    John M wrote:

    Throwing my two cents in:

    From what I remember being taught, it is true that there is no biological basis for race. Race is a totally human sociological concept, and a very subjective one.

    On the other hand, separate species is defined as two organisms that cannot cross breed to produce a viable offspring that can also reproduce. Either the offspring is not capable of being created at all in the first place, or the offspring is sterile. Hence the two parents are of different species. At least that's how I remember it.

  14. [14] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    "PA Democratics in free fall"

    Words can scarcely convey the full measure of how gleeful - er, I mean DISTRAUGHT that makes me feel!

  15. [15] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    well, that was a little like gloating...

  16. [16] 
    TheStig wrote:

    John M

    "separate species is defined as two organisms that cannot cross breed to produce a viable offspring."....

    "At least that's how I remember it."

    My "short" response:

    This definition of species is pretty murky in actual practice.

    A recent estimate is that there are 8.7 million species on earth. Not all of these reputed "species" reproduce sexually (swap genetic code)....yet asexual forms are commonly designated as species based on educated guesses about various morphological features, behaviors or genetic markers etc. etc.

    Many simple life forms, notably bacteria, with very different genomes and morphology, can accept or donate working chunks of genetic code that enhances resistance to antibiotics. A strict interpretation of the viable cross breeding definition says these are one species. This seems to me,and probably most others, as a forced interpretation of "one" species. A more reasonable interpretation is that lines of decent sometimes partially or even fully reconnect among different species (horizontal evolution). There is some evidence that this may apply to some of the working genetic code in Homo sapiens, but this is hotly disputed. The small fraction of Neanderthal DNA in some modern Humans can be interpreted as a past re-connection of the two branches, with subsequent loss of the Neanderthal line (de-connection with prejudice).

    With several million species on Earth, how many times do we actually test the viably and fertility of cross species hybrids? Not in just one isolated breeding population, but across many overlapping, or potentially overlapping breeding populations. Populations move (and collide) as habitats change. It is often assumed that hybrids from different breeding populations will be of lower fitness than pure breeds adapted to a particular area. Human agriculture, which depends heavily on high yield hybrid stock that does well in engineered habitats (farms)shows how wrong this can be.

    Finally, consider dinosaurs and other extinct species How do you know if two piles of reconstructed bones could or did mate with each other and produce viable offspring? Every new find tends to produce claims about a new species. All based on educated, but arguable assumptions.

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