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Racism

Black Virginia Officials Share List of Demands If Northam and Herring Refuse To Resign

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A group of black Virginia elected officials and activists have signed a letter calling for the resignation of both Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam and Attorney General Mark Herring, and said apologies are not enough for previously wearing blackface.

Though the goal of the signatories is for the two officials to resign, they released a list of all-encompassing policy demands of Northam and Herring should they stay in office.

The letter signers want the removal of Confederate statues and memorials from public spaces and a “business equity fund” to “help boost and support minority-owned businesses with an emphasis on African-American owned businesses” in Virginia.

The group said Northam should create an office “to assist the Governor with matters specifically pertaining to African-Americans, Indigenous, and people of color,” marijuana decriminalization, a commitment that staff is at least a quarter people of color, and a public apology together with a commitment to pledge $5 million to each of Virginia’s HBCUs.

Black officials in the state should not attend the Black History Month reception at the governor’s mansion, set to take place on Wednesday, the letter states.

The group lambasted both elected officials for coming forward that they wore blackface.

“As you are now aware, blackface was a derogatory and racist practice of white performers some 200 years ago used to mock enslaved Africans during minstrel shows. It was, has, and will always be offensive. The revelations of your actions cut deep.”

The letter also discusses the sexual assault allegations against Justin Fairfax, calling for an investigation into them.

“Mr. Fairfax as well as many others have called for a full investigation into this matter, and we are joining that list. If Mr. Fairfax is guilty of any of the allegations made against him, he needs to resign from his position immediately.”

The people named in the memo are members of the Virginia Black Politicos executive committee, and the dozens of other signees will be in attendance at a protest at the governor’s mansion on Wednesday, the organizers said.

Read the full letter below.

Racism

First Lady Of Virginia Hands Out Cotton To African-American Pages On Tour Of Governor’s Mansion

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From The Washington Post:

A Virginia state employee has complained that her eighth-grade daughter was upset during a tour of the historic governor’s residence when first lady Pam Northam handed a ball of cotton to her and another African American child and asked them to imagine being enslaved and having to pick the crop.

“The Governor and Mrs. Northam have asked the residents of the Commonwealth to forgive them for their racially insensitive past actions,” Leah Dozier Walker, who oversees the Office of Equity and Community Engagement at the state Education Department, wrote Feb. 25 to lawmakers and the office of Gov. Ralph Northam (D).

“But the actions of Mrs. Northam, just last week, do not lead me to believe that this Governor’s office has taken seriously the harm and hurt they have caused African Americans in Virginia or that they are deserving of our forgiveness,” she wrote.

This story is developing, more to come…

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