Virginia Lt. Governor releases statement denying allegations of sexual assault

11 February, 2019, 08:30 | Author: Emmett Rice
  • Warner speaks with news media at the U.S. Capitol building in Washington U.S

The controversy began when a conservative website earlier this month publicized Northam's page in the 1984 Eastern Virginia Medical School yearbook where a photo of two people - one in blackface and the other in a KKK uniform - holding beers are included with photos of Northam.

But he simultaneously admitted to using a "very little bit of shoe polish" to dress up as Michael Jackson for a dance contest on a different occasion.

Today, Gov. Northam sat down with CBS "This Morning" to discuss the current quagmire his administration finds itself forced to deal with. Two women have accused the state's No. 2 official, Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, of sexually assaulting them more than a decade ago, allegations he rejects, while the third official, state Attorney General Mark Herring, has also acknowledged that in 1980 as a college student he darkened his face to depict himself as a rap singer at a party.

"Right now, Virginia needs someone who can heal. There's no better person to do that than a doctor", Northam said. "Virginia also needs someone who is strong, who has empathy, who has courage, and who has a moral compass, and that's why I'm not going anywhere".

Northam told the Post his was was initially "shocked" at seeing the photos on his yearbook page, and "overreated" at putting out the apology. Fairfax did not deny he had an encounter with Tyson, but said it was consensual and the accusation was an attempt to smear him when he was poised to become governor of Virginia.

Northam seemed chastened and subdued as he described a week of grappling with what "white privilege" means, with the reality of African-American history, and with the personal failing of growing up after desegregation and the civil rights era while somehow not realising that donning blackface is offensive.

"It's been mainly hard for Virginia in this country", Northam said.

On Saturday, Virginia's House of Delegates Speaker Kirk Cox joined the chorus calling for Fairfax's resignation. "If I had it to do over again, I would step back and take a deep breath".

"The legacy of slavery, racism and the Jim Crow era remains an albatross around the necks of African Americans", said a statement from the state assembly's powerful Black Caucus, which like the NAACP has urged Northam to stand down.

More news: Seifert, bowlers inflict record T20I defeat on India

In other news, is Ralph Northam really at the point already where he feels comfortable commenting on OTHER PEOPLES' issues with racist "blackface?"

Justin Fairfax is a 39-year-old Democrat who won election in November.

Speaking to "CBS This Morning" in an interview to be broadcast on February 11, Northam said he had considered resigning in the wake of the political fallout but said he had learned from the controversy.

Former Duke student Meredith Watson claimed she was raped by a member of the basketball team in 1999, per her attorney's statement.

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.

Beyer tells CBS' "Face the Nation" that Northam has sacrificed too much of his ability to govern. And the reason I used a very little bit is because, I don't know if anybody's ever tried that, but you can not get shoe polish off, ' he said.

Two women have made allegations against Fairfaxe.

"Due to the serious nature of these allegations, we believe Lieutenant Governor Fairfax can no longer fulfill his duties to the Commonwealth", Democrats in both chambers said in a statement Friday night.

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