The Latest: Rapper calls blackface imitation ‘regrettable’
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The Latest on the fallout after two top Virginia Democrats admitted wearing blackface and another was accused of sexual assault (all times local):
A hip-hop pioneer who was imitated by a Virginia politician in blackface says he hopes people will learn lessons from such “regrettable actions.”
Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring said earlier this week that he wore brown makeup to a college party in 1980 because he wanted to look like rappers he listened to, specifically mentioning Kurtis Blow. Now Herring is struggling to shore up his political support amid calls for his resignation.
The rapper released a statement Friday on Instagram saying he hopes moments like this can help people understand the harm of blackface.
He writes: “It is my hope that these regrettable actions can be turned into teachable moments.”
He doesn’t mention Herring by name.
Virginia’s House Democrats have followed the state’s Legislative Black Caucus in not calling for resignations of the lieutenant governor or attorney general after insisting that the governor must go.
The Democrats’ statement says they take the issues and allegations facing Virginia’s top three elected officials seriously and they’ll be taking the pulse of their constituents over the weekend.
If Gov. Ralph Northam, Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax and Attorney General Mark Herring all resign, Republican House Speaker Kirk Cox would be in charge.
Northam and Herring are struggling to affirm their respect for African-Americans after acknowledging they wore blackface once decades ago. A woman says Fairfax’s possible promotion compelled her to publicly accuse him of sexually assaulting her 15 years ago in an encounter Fairfax says was consensual.