Gayle King calls out Northam on blackface, slavery during interview

Pastor Lacette Cross speaks during a protest calling for Governor Ralph Northam to resign on Monday
Credit
Shelby Lum

Ralph Northam, who is facing widespread calls to resign in the wake his recent blackface scandal, drew even more ire on social media Sunday for referring to the first Africans brought to his state as "indentured servants".

"Fairfax can no longer fulfill his duties", the Democratic caucuses of both the state House and Senate said in a joint statement. "And that's why I'm not going anywhere". "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". On Friday, the Democratic Lieutenant Governors Association removed Fairfax from its leadership ranks, naming officials from DE and Washington state in his place. He has served Virginia well and he and I and Justin, all three of us have fought for equality.

Although the Democratic Party has taken nearly a zero-tolerance approach to misconduct among its members in this #MeToo era, a housecleaning in Virginia could be costly to them: If all three Democrats resigned, Republican House Speaker Kirk Cox would become governor.

"It's obvious from what happened this week that we still have a lot of work to do", Northam said.

Fairfax has said that encounters with both women were consensual. Both of Fairfax's accusers, Vanessa Tyson and Meredith Watson, announced over the weekend that they would be willing to testify at an impeachment hearing if called upon.

For instance, see below for video of Northam talking to CBS' Gayle King, and recounting how Virginia's "now at the 400-year anniversary - just 90 miles from here in 1619 - the first indentured servants from Africa landed on our shores".

But he acknowledged wearing blackface on a separate occasion that year while dressing up as Michael Jackson. It will be very positive and you know we have a number of inequities in this country right now and in Virginia. The controversial photo shows two men, one of whom is dressed in black face and the other in a Ku Klux Klan costume.

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The political chaos surrounding the state's top two elected officials has also extended to the second-in-line to succeed Northam, Attorney General Mark Herring, who admitted that he had once darkened his face to imitate a black performer.

Several of the state's top Democrats, including U.S. Sen. Faifax instead called on "all appropriate and impartial investigatory authorities, including the FBI, to investigate fully and thoroughly the allegations against me".

Ralph Northam places hand over his heart at a funeral for a state trooper Saturday in Chilhowie, Va., during one of his first public appearances since the blackface scandal broke.

A fellow Democrat, state House member Patrick Hope, has said he will introduce articles of impeachment against Fairfax on Monday unless the lieutenant governor resigns. In a poll conducted late last week by The Washington Post and the Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University, respondents were evenly divided as to whether Northam should resign.

Another black lawmaker, who he also declined to name, made a powerful point about white privilege, Northam said: That a white person who makes a mistake gets a second chance, while a black person might not.

Additional portions of the interview with Northam are scheduled to shown Monday on "CBS This Morning", the network said.

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