The Washington Post Costume Scandals No One Is Talking About

A random middle-aged white woman lost her job. Ralph Northam didn't.

June 18, 2020

A years-old Halloween scandal is brewing at the Washington Post, the politics blog owned by Jeff Bezos. That's according to a lengthy report published in the "social issues" section of the Post.

"Blackface incident at Post cartoonist's 2018 Halloween party resurfaces amid protests," the headline explains, scandalously. The incident in question, hosted by editorial cartoonist Tom Toles, featured an "eclectic mix" of guests—some who were members of the D.C. "power elite" and others who were not. As it turns out, some of the costumes on display were rather offensive.

"several Ruth Bader Ginsburgs"

This egregious display of politically obsessed idol worship represented an insensitive cultural appropriation of a vulnerable population (the elderly and infirm). These party guests should have been banished on sight. What's more, the prominent government employee's twee nickname—"Notorious RBG"—is an outrageous example of white privilege and cultural theft. It is even more offensive given Ginsburg's history of refusing to hire minority law clerks, not to mention her initial assessment of failed NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick's national anthem protests as "really dumb."

"someone dressed as the 'Mueller Witch Hunt'"

Whether as a deliberate act of violence against the transgender community, or a misguided attempt to make light of the historical oppression of female-identifying women, this "someone" is lucky that no one confronted them and immediately contacted their employer and family members. A male witch? What sort of sadistic "commentary" was this individual attempting to make? Do they know how many women were brutalized and murdered as a result of actual witch hunts? Did they even realize that Robert Mueller is a Republican who willingly served under George W. Bush? How could any fellow guest feel safe upon seeing this so-called costume?

"Post columnist Dana Milbank came as just-confirmed Supreme Court Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh, complete with a beer-dispensing device on his head"

Perhaps you had to be there. Milbank's impersonation of a man whom the vast majority of the Post's reporting and editorial commentary described as a credibly accused rapist may have been super edgy and hilarious. Probably not, though, because comedy is not about making people laugh, it's about sending a message. What message was Milbank trying to send by making light of the role that copious alcohol consumption plays in the "rape culture" that prevails in our society?

These are the Washington Post costume scandals no one is talking about. Most of the outrage has focused on the actions of "a middle-aged white woman named Sue Schafer," who donned blackface as part of a Megyn Kelly costume in a dumb attempt to satirize the former Fox News anchor. Two attendees this week forcefully "resurfaced" the incident by accusing Schafer of harassing them "simply because we are not white" and of wearing the costume "with racist intent."

Schafer, a liberal who hates Trump, emailed Toles and his wife the day after the party to apologize for her "huge mistake" and for making some of the guests uncomfortable. She told the Post that she would like the chance to apologize to the young women who confronted her at the party and accused her of racial harassment.

When Schafer, a graphic designer who works for a government contractor, informed her employer about the incident and the forthcoming article in the Post, she was fired.

Gov. Ralph Northam (D., Va.), by contrast, still has his job after admitting to and apologizing for appearing in a yearbook photo dressed in a "racist and offensive" costume—it's still not known whether he was wearing blackface or dressed in a full Ku Klux Klan outfit.

When the yearbook photo emerged in February 2019, the Washington Post editorial board called on Northam to resign. In December of that same year, the Post editors changed their minds and admitted they were "wrong" to call for Northam's ousting.

These days, running afoul of the prevailing "woke" culture is a fireable offense. But for whatever reason, elected Democratic politicians seem to be exempt.

MORE: Food Editor Ousted Over Brownface Scandal, But These Culturally Appropriating Dems Still Have Jobs