Virginia governor says lieutenant governor may need to quit over allegations

Elias Hubbard
February 11, 2019

On CBS's Sunday morning Face the Nation, Mr Northam said: "I really think that I'm in a position where I can take Virginia to the next level".

But wait, Northam isn't done prattling on: "Virginia needs someone that can heal".

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". "I have learned from this, I have a lot more to learn, but we're in a unique opportunity now".

In an attempt to remark on the history of slavery in Virginia, Gov. Northam referred to Africans kidnapped, tortured, and forced against their will to work as "indentured servants" which caused King to correct him for the gaffe and inform the doctor that would be referred to as "slavery".

When asked if he considered resigning amid the continuing calls for his ouster, Northam acknowledged that doesn't "live in a vacuum".

Wait, what? Did I just hear that correctly? And again, I'm fine.

Gregory Howard, interim dean of theology at Richmond's historically black Virginia Union University, says there's still another point not to miss when thinking about the apologies offered by Northam and Herring.

"I can not believe, given my obvious distress, that Mr. Fairfax thought this forced sexual act was consensual". "There are still some very deep wounds in Virginia, and especially in the area of equity".

Thus far refusing to resign and even parlaying the blackface scandal into a reason why he can be an even better governor, Northam told The Washington Post that he has a "lot more to learn".

Virginia's embattled governor insisted he would not resign over a racist yearbook photo, but said the state's lieutenant governor would have to step aside if sexual assault allegations against him were found to be true. Tim Kaine and former Gov. Terry McAuliffe, have called for Fairfax to step down after a second woman came forward on Friday to accuse Fairfax of sexual assault.

On Friday a second woman came forward.

The governor also said his lieutenant governor would have "no choice" but to step down if the accusations against him turned out to be true.

Democratic Del. Patrick Hope tweeted early Monday that he got "an enormous amount of honest and thoughtful feedback" from colleagues after circulating a draft of his impeachment bill, and that he sees that "additional conversations. need to take place before anything is filed".

Attorney Nancy Erika Smith released the statement Saturday night on behalf of Meredith Watson after Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax denied the allegation and called for the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other authorities to investigate.

"Initially, I could have forgiven him, and I think he could have gotten past it".

Northam seemed chastened and subdued as he described a week of grappling with what "white privilege" means, with the reality of African-American history, and with the personal failing of growing up after desegregation and the civil rights era while somehow not realising that donning blackface is offensive.

"Well I know Attorney General Herring well, as I do Lt. Gov. Fairfax, and you know we have all grown", Northam said.

In a statement on Thursday, he condemned "the use of blackface". "To do so, would violate any principles I have of faith that says a person can not change", he told AFP. He has served Virginia well and he, and I, and Justin - all three of us - have fought for equality.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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