Virginia Attorney General Mark R. Herring (D) said Wednesday he dressed in blackface during college, embroiling the top three state officials in separate scandals, engulfing the entire executive branch of government.
“In 1980, when I was a 19-year-old undergraduate in college, some friends suggested we attend a party dressed like rappers we listened to at the time, like Kurtis Blow, and perform a song,” Herring said in a statement. “It sounds ridiculous even now writing it. But because of our ignorance and glib attitudes – and because we did not have an appreciation for the experiences and perspectives of others – we dressed up and put on wigs and brown makeup.”
Herring called it a “onetime occurrence” for which he accepted responsibility.
“That conduct clearly shows that, as a young man, I had a callous and inexcusable lack of awareness and insensitivity to the pain my behavior could inflict on others,” Herring said. “It was really a minimization of both people of color, and a minimization of a horrific history I knew well even then.”
In his statement, Herring suggested that he knew the photo would someday surface.
“I have a glaring example from my past that I have thought about with deep regret in the many years since, and certainly each time I took a step forward in public service, realizing that my goals and this memory could someday collide and cause pain for people I care about, those who stood with me in the many years since, or those who I hoped to serve while in office,” said Herring, who announced in December that he planned to run for governor in 2021.
Read his full statement below:
Incident At Schiphol Airport
Police are responding to an incident on board a plane at Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam.
Police have surrounded an Air Europa plane at a cargo area of Schiphol Airport following an incident on board.
The Royal Dutch Military Police have confirmed they are investigating a suspicious situation aboard an aircraft at Schiphol Airport.
German Outlet Nieuwsuur reports that scanner traffic indicates a ”heavily armed Special Security Unit DSI” has arrived at the airport.
More to come.