Mark Acosta remembers so many of the details. He was in fourth grade in a predominantly Hispanic mining town in Arizona and his teachers painted his face black for a play where he portrayed comedian Flip Wilson and his character Geraldine. The Associated Press asks people for their experiences with black face.
“I really believed in him,” said a 28-year-old student who voted for Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam. “To find out that he dressed up in blackface is disappointing. He’s shown his disdain for black people.”
Democratic Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax issued a statement repeating his strong denials that he had ever sexually assaulted anyone and made clear he does not intend to immediately resign, despite having lost almost his entire base of support.
The practice took hold in New York City in the 1830s and became immensely popular among post-Civil War whites. In fact, the Jim Crow laws that enforced racial segregation in the South took their name from a character played by blackface performer Thomas Dartmouth Rice. He said his act “Jump, Jim Crow” (or “Jumping Jim Crow”) was inspired by a slave he saw.
With Gov. Ralph Northam’s career already hanging by a thread over a racist photo in his 1984 medical school yearbook, the day’s developments threatened to take down all three of Virginia’s top elected officials, all of them Democrats.
Prominent Democrats came down hard on Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam after he apologized for a racist photo. But they were quieter as two more scandals — one involving race, another a sexual assault allegation — rocked Virginia’s statehouse.
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam says he “truly” does not believe he is the person in the racist yearbook photo that emerged Friday. He will not resign and is asking for the “opportunity to earn your forgiveness.”
The network announced the deal Friday night after more than two months of negotiations, giving no details. The former Fox News Channel transplant has been off the air since late October after suggesting that it was OK for white people to wear blackface on Halloween.
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