The political, racial, sexual, social chaos in the Commonwealth of Virginia just got even worse.
First it was Democrat Governor Ralph Northam admitting, then (sort of) denying he was one of the two people in his 1984 medical school yearbook, one in blackface, the other in KKK robes. Then he offered his Michael Jackson alternative, but was dissuaded by his wife from demonstrating the "moonwalk". And six days later, he is still refusing calls to resign.
Then it was black Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax being accused by black college professor Vanessa Tyson, of a 2004 sexual assault, whose account former prosecutor-now presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), also black, found "credible" and worthy of investigation, raising awkward questions whether Dem's would offer the same full-throated support to Tyson as they did to the Brett Kavanaugh accuser, white college professor Christine Blasey Ford?
Then it was Virginia's Attorney General, Democrat Mark Herring, who volunteered that he once also wore blackface when he dressed up as a rapper for a party decades ago.
Now we learn that Virginia's Republican Senate majority leader, Tommy Norment, who had obtained his position by a flip of a coin, served as editor of the Virginia Military Institute’s 1968 yearbook that contained numerous blackface images as well as racial and ethnic slurs.
VIRGINIA MILITARY ACADEMY YEARBOOK 1968
All of this would seem to beg the question is blackface and racism some kind of 'rite of passage' for young men in Virginia?
Virginia Republican edited
yearbook with racist images
AP Photo/Steve Helber
Virginia State Sen. Tommy Norment (left) speaks with then-Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam at the Capitol in Richmond in 2014.
Norment was the managing editor of Virginia Military Institute's 1968 yearbook, which featured racist images.
By MATTHEW CHOI
A Republican Virginia state senator oversaw a yearbook at the Virginia Military Institute that included racist images and slurs, adding him to the list of scandal-plagued Virginia politicians that has thrust the normally decorous state capital Richmond into a state of tumult.
State Sen. Tommy Norment, a Republican who represents much of the area north of Newport News, Virginia, served as managing editor of the 1968 yearbook, which featured images of blackface and Confederate battle flags, and referred to Asian-American and African-American students with racist slurs, including the n-word.
The revelation comes as the commonwealth's Democratic leadership is reeling over past racist conduct and an allegation of sexual assault.
Gov. Ralph Northam's medical school yearbook page featured a photo of two students dressed in Ku Klux Klan robes and blackface. Northam initially apologized for the image, but backpedaled during a news conference Saturday where he denied being in the photo. He did, however, admit to wearing blackface in a separate incident to imitate Michael Jackson. Northam also attended VMI as an undergraduate, where his yearbook labels him with the slur "coonman."
Northam has faced calls for his resignation, but has resisted giving up his position.
Days after Northam's blackface scandal emerged, allegations of sexual assault surfaced against Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, who would be next in line for governor if Northam resigned. Fairfax has denied those allegations and suggested that could be politically motivated. The Washington Post, in a report published this week, said it had investigated the allegations against Fairfax but could not find evidence to corroborate either his version of events or his accuser's.
Though unlikely, if both were to resign, that would leave Democratic Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring to ascend to the governorship. But Herring also admitted to and apologized Wednesday for wearing blackface at a party in college, prompting calls for his resignation.
When asked about his role in editing the VMI yearbook, Norment deflected and said, “the only thing I’m talking about today is the budget,” the Virginian-Pilot reported.