Tuesday, June 18, 2019
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From Scandal to Opportunity: Virginia’s Political Turmoil

He offered an apology but then came a reversal, as Northam ignored calls for his resignation. (The Governor, Lieutenant Governor and Attorney General rank in the top five most powerful leaders in the Virginia state government — all three positions are currently held by Democrats clouded in scandal). While the sexual assault allegations add to the ongoing conversation during this #MeToo era, the blackface confessions have reignited conversations about racism we thought we no longer needed. Virginia is not doing well. What is Blackface? In 2019 (as well as in 1984 when Northam acknowledges donning blackface for a Michael Jackson costume), society largely understands that blackface is unambiguously racist. As we condemn Northam and Herring for racism, it is important we do justice to our testimony and educate ourselves about the practice and why it is such a painful mark on African American history. Perhaps here is our silver lining — the opportunity for honest conversations and racial progress. Throughout his attempts to prove himself not racist, Northam has struggled to show he has a full grasp of black history. Clearly vicinity to black people does not shield white people from committing racist acts.

Timeline of turmoil: How Virginia’s ongoing political scandals developed

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - It’s been a tumultuous few weeks for Virginia with the commonwealth’s top three officials embroiled each embroiled in separate scandals. Here is a minute-by-minute timeline of the political controversies that have put the commonwealth in the national spotlight. Gov. Ralph Northam defends proposed bill loosening restrictions on abortion in an interview with WTOP and says, “It’s done in cases where there may be severe deformities, there may be a fetus that’s non-viable. So in this particular example, if a mother is in labor, I can tell you exactly what would happen. The infant would be delivered. The infant would be kept comfortable. Virginia first lady Pamela Northam tells him it is “inappropriate circumstances.” 4:54 p.m. – Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring says Northam should resign and he will support Fairfax as the new governor. African-American leaders shocked by Herring blackface admission 11:38 a.m. – Fairfax releases statement saying it is important to listen to women who bring forward allegations of sexual assault, but reiterates his denial that he did not sexual assault anyone. ~ 2 p.m. – A law firm representing Tyson releases a statement in which she graphically describes the alleged encounter between her and Fairfax in 2004.

Rahm Emanuel warns Dems not to ‘mimic’ Trump’s politics, says Virginia’s Northam shouldn’t resign

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel doesn’t agree with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that if President Trump can declare a national emergency to bypass Congress in order to secure funding for his long-promised border wall, a Democratic president can do the same for guns. That’s not where you want to go against him.” The conversation quickly moved on to other topics without a mention of Friday's deadly workplace shooting in Aurora, Ill., that ended with six dead, including the gunman, and several wounded police officers. “You have a faux constitutional crisis to basically cover a real campaign crisis,” he said “This is all about the campaign. Ralph Northam of Virginia, who has resisted calls to resign over his 1984 medical school yearbook page that featured one person in Ku Klux Klan garb and another in blackface. “I don’t buy that that's not his photo,” said Emanuel, before making his case that Northam shouldn't leave office. He cited Obama’s initial opposition to gay marriage and Abraham Lincoln’s emancipation of slaves. “Part of civil rights. “He is not going to be the greatest fighter for civil rights because he has something to prove. That fact is he has evolved. “There’s nothing like a convert.

Who is Justin Fairfax? The descendant of slaves is next in line for Virginia...

WASHINGTON — As Virginia Democratic Gov. Justin Fairfax remains in the wings as the man who would replace him if Northam were to step down. While Northam apologized and asked for forgiveness on Saturday, he also noted that he maintained a good relationship with Fairfax, who would be America's fifth-ever black governor were he to take Northam's place. "Justin and I have a very, very close relationship," Northam said at the press conference Saturday. On Saturday, Fairfax released a statement saying he was "shocked and saddened" by the images that appeared in Northam's yearbook. "He also reached out to me personally to express his sincere regrets and to apologize." Fairfax said despite Northam's career of service to American children, soldiers and constituents, he could not condone the governor's actions from his past. Still, Northam’s admission that he darkened his face with shoe polish for a costume in the past is not the only reminder that that process is incomplete. I will be stepping off the dais today in protest of the Virginia Senate honoring Robert E. Lee. Virginia only allows elected governors to serve a single, four-year term.

Virginia’s current turmoil is state’s chance to reconcile with its racist past

“For me the scariest part is – and this has been said in the black community for decades – what happened this past week was that things we know exist came to the surface,” said Francesca Leigh-Davis, who co-hosts the RVA Dirt local politics radio show in Richmond, the Virginia state capital. To the outsider, Virginia has been moving left politically over the past decade, to the extent that some have mused whether the state, which brushes up against Washington, DC, in the north-east, should even still be considered part of ‘The South’, in the parlance of the US civil war. Simply because when you drive down the street in Richmond, there are confederate memorials. Monument Avenue, which runs from west Richmond towards the State Capitol, is a veritable rogues gallery of confederate figures. On Thursday there were again protests at Virginia’s capitol, although this time not over the blackface scandal. She thought Northam should resign because of the abortion bill, but was also turned off by the blackface controversy. The drive west from Richmond, through a barren landscape , leads to the town of Appomattox where the court house is one of the most important sites in US history. It’s not funny.” The political crisis in Virginia is a test for the Democratic party | Douglas Williams Read more Myers, 50, is only seven years younger than Herring, yet said he had never seen any of his contemporaries don shoe polish, dark makeup, or any other form of blackface. He was also troubled by the allegations against Fairfax. If any good ultimately comes from the sorry scandal in the corridors of state power, then one message at Heyer’s memorial might seem particularly relevant: “We all can create a better world,” it says.

Virginia’s Racist History Clashes With New South Image

Still, as John Warner, the former Republican senator of Virginia, put it recently, “It was a monumental chapter not just in Virginia history but in American history.” That state history on race and politics is now under intense scrutiny. Herring for behavior from a less-enlightened era before Mr. Wilder’s election. “This collection of scandals proves beyond a doubt that Virginia has not progressed as far as it thought it has — and it has a past it still hasn’t come to terms with,” said Mr. Sabato. It is hard to overstate how important race was to the segregationist Democratic machine, led by Senator Harry F. Byrd, that controlled Virginia politics for much of the 20th century. Few know that better than Mr. Wilder. That was three years after Mr. Philpott blocked Mr. Wilder’s attempt to enact a state holiday honoring Dr. King. Then, as a candidate for governor, Mr. Wilder campaigned aggressively across rural parts of the state, such as Mr. Philpott’s Southside, where the Confederacy was enshrined in history. Even now, the Jim Crow era of racist behavior like blackface is hardly an ancient epoch in Virginia. Virginians are still coming to grips with this latest chapter in their state’s history, with Mr. Northam determined to try to salvage his reputation and keep his job and Mr. “But it has been a tragic few days.”

Locals react to Virginia politics controversies

WISE, Va. (WYMT) - Several political scandals hit top Virginia politicians in recent weeks. "I think it hurts the reputation of the Commonwealth," said UVa-Wise Political Science Professor Eric Drummond Smith. It started when a photo surfaced, allegedly showing governor Ralph Northam wearing black face "I think this is nasty and unpleasant but I think it is part of the necessary growing pains to become a more enlightened society," said Smith. Attorney General Mark Herring faces backlash for wearing blackface. Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax is accused of sexual assault. "We have of the four constitutionally defined people in the Executive Branch three of them have now meshed in a scandal," said Smith. Republican State Senate Majority Leader Tommy Norment is under fire for a yearbook he edited containing racist slurs and photos. "We need to start holding these people accountable, Like Northam and all of that, and we need to start pushing back on these racist views people have," said Nathan Fields, who lives in Virginia. Virginians say this reflects poorly upon the commonwealth. You can read more about the scandals here.
Second woman accuses Virginia Lt. Gov. Fairfax of assault

Second woman accuses Virginia Lt. Gov. Fairfax of assault

Woman claims she was raped by Justin Fairfax in 2000 while they were both students at Duke University; Trace Gallagher reports. #YourWorld #FoxNews FOX News Channel (FNC) is a 24-hour all-encompassing news service dedicated to delivering breaking news as well…
VA attorney general admits he wore blackface at a college party

VA attorney general admits he wore blackface at a college party

Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring admits to wearing blackface during a college party in 1980 in a revelation that further roils the top levels of the state government. FOX News Channel (FNC) is a 24-hour all-encompassing news service dedicated to…
Eastern Virginia Medical School remarks on Northam's yearbook photos

Eastern Virginia Medical School remarks on Northam’s yearbook photos

Eastern Virginia Medial School holds a news conference to discuss the investigation into Governor Ralph Northam's unacceptable photos in the student yearbook. FOX News Channel (FNC) is a 24-hour all-encompassing news service dedicated to delivering breaking news as well as…