Well, we suppose this is one way to take the racism heat off of Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam …

Hoo boy.

Now, for what it’s worth:

Senate Clerk Susan Clarke Schaar said “we received no complaints” after the mansion visit. She said the only thing the pages were buzzing about afterward was the fact that one of the pages was dehydrated and fainted during the tour of the kitchen.

Sen. William M. Stanley Jr. (R-Franklin), whose daughter served as a page this session, was among the group that the first lady took to the kitchen. Stanley declined to make his daughter available for an interview, but said she told him that Pam Northam handed the cotton around to all of the students.

“The first lady’s intent was to show the horrors of slavery and to make sure everyone felt the pain they felt in some small measure,” he said. Two days later, Stanley’s wife got the same tour from Pam Northam and found it “poignant,” he said.

But still. The optics here are … well, let’s just say they’re sub-optimal.