By Kathryn Blackhurst | February 6, 2019
A third scandal rocked Virginia Democrats in less than a week when Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring (D) admitted on Wednesday to wearing blackface during a college party back in 1980.
Herring (pictured above left) revealed in a statement that he has a “glaring example from my past that I have thought about with deep regret in the many years since, and certainly each time I took a step forward in public service, realizing that my goals and this memory could someday collide and cause pain for people I care about.”
When Herring was a 19-year-old college student, some of his friends “suggested we attend a party dressed like rappers we listened to at the time, like Kurtis Blow, and perform a song.”
“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,” Herring added.
“This was a one-time occurrence and I accept full responsibility for my conduct.”
Herring also apologized for contributing “to the pain Virginians have felt this week,” calling it “the greatest shame I have ever felt.”
“In the days ahead, honest conversations and discussions will make it clear whether I can or should continue to serve as attorney general,” Herring concluded.
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) has faced bipartisan calls to resign after a picture from his 1984 medical school yearbook page surfaced recently, depicting two individuals standing together — someone in blackface and someone in a Ku Klux Klan outfit.
But Northam (above right) thus far has refused to step down from the position he won in 2017.
Herring himself called for Northam to resign last Friday, saying, “It is no longer possible for Gov. Northam to lead our Commonwealth and it is time for him to step down.”
The Washington Post then reported that a woman had accused Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax (D) of sexually assaulting her in a hotel room in 2004 during the Democratic National Convention in Boston.
Fairfax admitted to engaging in a sexual encounter with a woman — but insisted it was consensual.
The woman identified herself in a statement Wednesday as Dr. Vanessa Tyson, a tenured professor at Scripps College. She said The Post declined in March 2018 to publish her allegations against Fairfax.
“I have no political motive. I am a proud Democrat.”
“On Friday, Feb. 1, 2019, as stories appeared in the media suggesting that Gov. Northam would have to resign and that Mr. Fairfax would be sworn in as governor, I felt a jarring sense of both outrage and despair,” Tyson said.
“I have no political motive. I am a proud Democrat. My only motive in speaking now is to refute Mr. Fairfax’s falsehoods and aspersions of my character, and to provide what I believe is important information for Virginians to have as they make critical decisions that involve Mr. Fairfax,” Tyson added.
Check out more in the video below:
This piece originally appeared in LifeZette and is used by permission.
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