Friday, 26 April, 2019

Northam says he thought about resigning

Virginia Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax presides over the Senate at the Virginia State Capitol Virginia’s Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax denies second accusation of sexual assault
Leonard Rios | 11 February, 2019, 08:27

"Right now, Virginia needs someone that can heal".

Northam said that while the state has made progress since the first slaves arrived at what is now Fort Monroe in 1619, work remains to address the racial inequities. He was more forgiving of Attorney General Mark Herring, who was also reported to have worn blackface when he was a young man, telling King that "I can tell you that I am sure, just like me, he has grown".

After staying out of sight since he faced the press on February 2 to deny he was pictured in the racist photo on his yearbook page, but admitting that he had worn blackface on another occasion, Northam, 59, returned to the public eye to attend the funeral of a slain state trooper.

Even so, a poll conducted February 6-8 for the Washington Post found residents split over Northam's fate, with 47 percent wanting him to step down and an equal number saying he should stay on.

In an interview set to air Monday on "CBS This Morning", Northam touted his training as a physician as providing him the skills necessary to lead a reconciliation process in his state.

But it was also one of the most significant regions for the Atlantic slave trade, the main battleground of the mid-19th century Civil War that was fought over slavery, and later one of the states most resistant to the civil rights movement that brought an end to segregation.

"Yes, yes", Northam replied, prompting exasperation from some commentators on social media.

Comstock suggested probing who knew about the accusations against the lieutenant governor and when they knew about them. "SIGH", tweeted Democratic operative Symone Sanders.

Sometimes known as the "Cradle of America", Virginia was home to four of the country's first five presidents.

The state is in chaos with controversies engulfing the state's top three elected officials.

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Northam said he had been especially affected by a conversation with a black lawmaker, whom he declined to name, on the topic of blackface. Fairfax would become governor if Northam resigns. Northam said of Herring, that, "just like me, he has grown".

The Democratic governor told Gayle King on CBS' Face the Nation that, "Yes, I have thought about resigning".

Top Democrats, including a number of presidential hopefuls and most of Virginia's congressional delegation, swiftly and decisively turned against Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, who stands to become the state's second black governor if Northam quits. "She turned and asked: "Why did you do it?' Mr. Fairfax answered: 'I knew that because of what happened to you past year, you'd be too afraid to say anything.' Mr. Fairfax actually used the prior rape of his 'friend" against her when he chose to rape her in a premeditated way".

".I can not agree with a description of events I know is not true", he wrote. He has served Virginia well and he, and I, and Justin - all three of us - have fought for equality. We will provide at least two witnesses whom Ms. Watson told of the assault the day after Fairfax raped her.

In a former hub of the American slave trade and the capital of the Confederacy, the political crisis has sparked deeper debate about the treatment of women and how to reckon with Virginia's long, racist past.

Hughes, 54, thinks the governor should resign.

Two women have made allegations against Fairfaxe.

Northam's attempts to make amends have yet to shift Democratic demands for his resignation. "And so we're ready to learn from our mistakes".

In the uproar immediately following revelations last weekend about Northam's 1984 blackface appearance and a racist yearbook photo of two individuals - one in blackface and the other dressed in white robes of the Ku Klux Klan - calls for Northam's resignation quickly escalated. He initially said he was in the photo, then denied that but said he did wear blackface when he impersonated Michael Jackson around the same time.

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