Virginia Politics Is in Chaos as Top-Three Democrat Officeholders Face Scandals Involving Infanticide, Racism and Sexual Assault


Last week, Ralph Northam, the Governor of Virginia, advocated third-trimester abortion and infanticide following birth if a child is deformed. Several days later, he faced another scandal when it was discovered that, when he was in medical school, he posted a photo in the school yearbook of a man in blackface and another in a Ku Klux Klan robe. Then, Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax was accused of sexual assault on a woman in 2004 at the Democrat Convention. The third in line for the governor’s office is Attorney General Mark Herring who admitted that that, when he was an undergraduate at the University of Virginia, he wore brown makeup and a wig to a party to look like a black rapper.

There is strong public and political pressure for these men to resign from their posts because of these disclosures and, if they do, the Republican Speaker of Virginia’s House of Delegates, Kirk Cox, will become acting Governor. [The Democrats are not likely to allow that to happen, so the net effect of all this likely will not involve significant change. But it’s entertaining to see how how many politicians have skeletons in their closets. Some of us even suspect that this is a requirement for being endorsed by a major party because those skeletons can be useful for controlling the office holders.] -GEG


Attorney General Mark Herring, third in the line of succession to Virginia’s governor’s office, announced Wednesday morning that he “wore blackface at a college party” sometime in the mid-1980s, according to Bloomberg News.

“Another
top Virginia Democrat — Attorney General Mark Herring — admitted
Wednesday to putting on blackface in the 1980s, when he was a college
student,” the outlet reported. “Herring issued a statement saying he
wore brown makeup and a wig in 1980 to look like a black rapper during a
party as a 19 -year-old undergraduate at the University of Virginia.”

Herring,
who is in his second term as Attorney General — and was reportedly
planning to run for governor in 2021 — called the incident “ridiculous”
in a statement released to media.

“It sounds ridiculous even now
writing it. But because of our ignorance and glib attitudes – and
because we did not have an appreciation for the experiences and
perspectives of others – we dressed up and put on wigs and brown
makeup,” he said in his statement.

“That conduct clearly shows
that, as a young man, I had a callous and inexcusable lack of awareness
and insensitivity to the pain my behavior could inflict on others,” he
continued. “It was really a minimization of both people of color, and a
minimization of a horrific history I knew well even then.”

The
New York Times’ Jonathan Martin reported early Wednesday that Herring
had convened a hasty meeting to discuss “an issue” with the state’s
legislative black caucus, leaving reporters to suspect that all three of
Virginia’s top legislators were embroiled in trouble. At the time,
though, neither Herring nor the legislative black caucus was willing to
give details on possible transgressions.

Martin instead tweeted
that VA Attorney General Mark Herring, a Democrat, “had a private
meeting this morning with the legislative black caucus,” according to a
member of the caucus, Del. Lamont Bigby.

Asked if Herring discussed a photo of his own, Bagby said ‘He’ll talk about it,'” Martin added. “Before he could say more, the House min ldr pulled him into a private room.”

When asked by media to explain what was going on, Bagby said only that, “I imagine we’re not praying enough,” according to The Washington Post. Another legislator added that, “It’s a mess.”

Virginia’s
state government has been gripped by scandal since last week, when a
photo surfaced of two individuals at a party in the early to mid-1980s,
one dressed as a member of the Ku Klux Klan and the other outfitted in
minstrel show-style blackface makeup. The photo appeared on Northam’s
medical school yearbook page, and, initially, Northam took full
responsibility for the picture, though he would not say which of the two
individuals he was.

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