Over a month into the racial and sexual controversies that have embroiled Virginia’s Democrat-led executive branch, while calls for the resignations of Governor Ralph “Coonman” Northam (D) and Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax (D) are waning, that does not mean the idiosyncrasies with the Democratic leadership have stopped.
For example, while Northam reads “Roots” and “The Case for Reparations,” he says “we’re all on a learning curve” when it comes to race, chalking his scandal up to “white privilege.” His wife, Virginia First Lady Pam Northam, isn’t safe from scrutiny either after her recent hiccup.
As well, while Lieutenant Governor Fairfax reiterates “how important it is for us to listen to women” amid the nationwide “#MeToo” movement, he gets caught exclaiming “f*** that b****” as he tries to discredit his multiple sexual assault and rape accusers as he dodges a legislative investigation.
Nevertheless, the one who has hidden between the cracks of the hundreds of news stories on racist photos and sexual assault allegations, Attorney General Mark Herring (D), has popped up out of nowhere to remind us of his scandal…for no apparent reason – at least yet.
Days after a photo was released of Governor Northam reportedly appearing either in blackface or in KKK robes in his 1984 Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS) yearbook – and one of his nickname of “Coonman,” a racial epithet, while a cadet at VMI – Herring himself admitted to also appearing in blackface. In 1980, he darkened his face to look like black rapper Kurtis Blow during a party as an undergraduate at UVA.
This surfaced following the attorney general’s calls for Northam to resign for also doing the same.
Herring has been absent from the media’s scrutiny of Virginia’s Democratic leaders over the course of February, which is, quite ironically, “Black History Month.” Regardless, as the news trucks and national reporters vacate Richmond, he decides to bring the entire development back into the spotlight.
In a recent op-ed published in the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Herring pens there is now the “opportunity for honesty and action to address racial inequities.”
“The fact is, our society remains replete with structures that not only limit opportunity and perpetuate injustices, but also keep us separated from one another and insulate white Americans from having to confront the history of racism in this country and the realities experienced by people of color,” he writes.
“As I acknowledged a few weeks ago, in 1980, when I was 19 years old and in my second year of college, some friends and I dressed up and donned wigs and brown makeup to perform a song at a party. This showed a deep lack of awareness and understanding. My use of blackface was a dumb, cruel, and racist action that dehumanized people of color, and minimized a horrific history of exploitation and oppression. I am deeply sorry for the pain it has caused, especially to members of the African-American community who have placed their trust in me,” Herring said.
However, he adds, “Soon after that incident in college, I thankfully moved beyond the insulating forces that had blinded me to the realities of white privilege and the experiences of others. I grew and matured, and became more conscious about considering and empathizing with others.”
It is hard to tell why Herring decided to pen this op-ed as the dust settles on Virginia’s executive branch. As it looks like Northam will not resign despite the widespread calls, and any attempt to investigate Fairfax’s sexual crimes is quashed for now, Herring as been out of the media’s radar and has little pressure put on him to speak about the incident.
Unless something is getting ready to be released about Herring, why come out and remind Virginians again?
The nation has seen the picture of Northam (reportedly) in blackface. Considering Herring’s admission, he must not have cleared his past as well as he thought, which is presumably why he admitted to appearing in blackface in the first place.
So, is it possible that he was getting ahead of a picture coming out of him at a party dressed as Kurtis Blow?
If so, when will that photo be released?