I didn’t think it was possible, but somehow, Virginia’s incredibly messed-up state of political affairs has gotten even worse, with an admission by Democratic state Attorney General Mark Herring on Wednesday that, as a teenager, he wore blackface to a party in 1980.
Yes, Virginia has another blackface scandal.
“In 1980, when I was a 19-year-old undergraduate in college, some friends suggested we attend a party dressed like rappers we listened to at the time, like Kurtis Blow, and perform a song,” Herring wrote in a statement released Wednesday morning, adding that he had “dressed up and put on wigs and brown makeup.”
“It sounds ridiculous even now writing it,” he wrote.
This is the third scandal to hit the top echelons of Virginia politics in the last week.
To recount: Last week, Virginia’s Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam was implicated in a blackface scandal of his own, after the far right website Big League Politics surfaced old photos from his yearbook page, in which two people are dressed in blackface, and KKK robes, respectively. Northam has resisted calls for his resignation, and insisted that he is not one of the men featured in the photos. But he admitted to wearing blackface as part of a Michael Jackson impersonation in 1984.
Meanwhile, Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, who would assume the governorship should Northam resign, is facing an accusation that he sexually assaulted a woman during the Democratic National Convention in 2004. Fairfax has emphatically denied the claim.
And if you didn’t think that scandal could get worse, NBC News reported on Wednesday that, during a private meeting this week, Fairfax lashed out at his accuser.
If both Northam and Fairfax were to resign over their respective scandals, Herring would be next in line for the the governorship.
“In the days ahead, honest conversations and discussions will make clear whether I can or should continue to serve as Attorney General,” Herring wrote in his statement, after acknowledging that “the very bright light that is shining on Virginia right now is sparking a painful but, I think we all hope, important conversation.”
Should Herring resign, the state’s Republican House Speaker Kirk Cox—who presides over a one-seat majority—would become Virginia’s next governor. And here’s a reminder of how utterly bonkers that is:
Sort your shit out Virginia!!!