“Blackface is Never Acceptable”—UVA’s Lawless on Latest Lawmaker Admission on LIVE

Thursday, February 07, 2019

 

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Jennifer Lawless

University of Virginia Professor of Political Science Jennifer Lawless joined GoLocal News Editor Kate Nagle on GoLocal LIVE, where she spoke to Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring's announcement on Wednesday that he once wore blackface, following Governor Ralph Northam's admission he once did as Michael Jackson -- but rebuffed the possibility that he was in his medical school yearbook photo showing someone blackface -- and a KKK hood. 

"Blackface is never acceptable. And it was certainly not acceptable in 1984,' said Lawless on LIVE. "I think what people are having a hard time coming to terms with is to what extent representatives, or the Governor’s behavior in the past, should cripple them moving forward, and be an albatross around their neck forever…I put blackface in that category."

"There’s a general state of uncertainty and quite a bit of disgust," said Lawless of the top three elected officials in Virginia. "Northam's tone-deaf press conference made things worse….there’s a sense that there’s just complete chaos. He came across as a bumbling fool — he was oblivious to how racist the press conference came off — remembering being in blackface at another time, how hard shoe polish was to come off — he didn’t seem to grasp the situation."

"As awful as it is, being racist is not illegal at this point — but sexual assault is. The appeal of the Lt. Governor is no longer there," said Lawless. "With a Governor who admitted to wearing blackface, and an AG who’s admitted to it as well…it’s unclear one is worse than the other.  While Northam’s political career is essentially over…it’s not one [that’s going to end anytime soon]."

 

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