Birds of a racist feather flock together.
Virginia Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam was in a blackface scandal earlier this month. Now, his wife is in a controversy after giving Black children raw cotton during a mansion tour.
According to ABC News, Virginia first lady Pam Northam “allegedly gave out raw cotton during a tour of the governor’s mansion and asked Black children to imagine being slaves who were forced to pick cotton.”
According to the Washington Post, Leah Dozier Walker, an employee of the state’s Department of Education, wrote a letter to lawmakers on Feb. 25 because her eight-grade daughter attended the tour. The letter read in part, “The Governor and Mrs. Northam have asked the residents of the Commonwealth to forgive them for their racially insensitive past actions. But the actions of Mrs. Northam, just last week, do not lead me to believe that this Governor’s office has taken seriously the harm and hurt they have caused African Americans in Virginia or that they are deserving of our forgiveness.”
Pam Northam appeared to defend herself in a statement by saying, “I have provided the same educational tour to Executive Mansion visitors over the last few months and used a variety of artifacts and agricultural crops with the intention of illustrating a painful period of Virginia history. I am still committed to chronicling the important history of the Historic Kitchen, and will continue to engage historians and experts on the best way to do so in the future.”
She also said, “I regret that I have upset anyone. I believe it does a disservice to Virginians to omit the stories of the enslaved people who lived and worked there–that’s why I have been engaged in an effort to thoughtfully and honestly share this important story since I arrived in Richmond.”
In case you forgot, after a 1984 photo from Eastern Virginia Medical School went viral, which contained a photograph of two unidentified men, one in blackface and the other in a Ku Klux Klan costume under a page labeled as his, went viral, the Virginia governor Ralph Northam apologized.
However, he later said, according to CNN, that it wasn’t him in the photo, “I believe now and then that I am not either of the people in this photo. This was not me in that picture. That was not Ralph Northam.” He continued, “I intend to continue doing the business of Virginia. I could avoid an honest conversation about harmful actions from my past. I cannot in good conscience choose the path that would be easier for me in an effort to duck my responsibility to reconcile.”