Pictures and words: Both are powerful. Governor Ralph Northam’s remarks about an abortion bill last week put him on the hot seat, but pictures from an old yearbook released a couple of days later left him hanging by a thread. He began the week describing how a newborn baby would be kept comfortable while parents and doctors discussed killing it. Two days later he tried to explain two of his old pictures: one in blackface; another of a figure wearing a KKK hood. If he has to resign, it’ll be the pictures that force it and not his talk of killing babies after they’re born.
The Congressional Black Caucus knew a 2005 picture they had of then-Senator Barack Obama smiling with Black Muslim Minister Louis Farrakhan would make his election to the White House difficult, so they buried it for twelve years. It only came to light in 2018 when his second term was over. "I do believe that it would have had a very, very negative effect in that given moment as far as the candidacy of candidate Obama at that time," says Dr. Shayla Nunnally, president of the National Conference of Black Political Scientists.
As I’ve reported before in this space, my students often debated abortion in my classes. During one of the first debates, pictures of aborted babies were introduced by the pro-life side and it was all over. The pro-choice side conceded immediately. After that, I made a rule against using them. The purpose of debating was expressing ideas, making coherent points and counterpoints, and stimulating thought. The pictures were so powerful they prevented that exchange and rendered mere words superfluous.
Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) knows the power of images. Shortly after announcing her candidacy for president two weeks ago she took on the gun lobby. Referring to a failed gun control bill following the Sandy Hook massacre, she said: "This is going to sound very harsh, [but] I think somebody should have required all those members of Congress to go in a room, in a locked room with no press and nobody else, and look at the autopsy photographs of those babies.”
However, when at least one video image of a baby murdered at an abortion clinic was revealed during Harris’s tenure as Attorney General of California, she worked to suppress it, claiming it was deceptively edited. Together with videos of abortionists discussing how they try not to crush heads and other body parts so they could sell them later, those images threatened government funding of Planned Parenthood and exposed it to prosecution for trafficking in aborted babies’ body parts. Dozens of undercover videos had been recorded at public events attended by David Dalieden and abortionists, then released online.
The rest is here.