The Washington Post Weighs In:
Virginia’s most powerful family is in the spotlight after new allegations surrounding yet another racist incident. The Washington Post says that Virginia’s first lady, Pam Northam, has been accused of handing cotton balls to African American children during a tour of the governor’s residence. She asked students to imagine “being slaves” and to “pick cotton”.
This is Not the First Time The Family Has Been in Hot Water Regarding Race
Pam Northam’s husband, Governor Ralph Northam, became the center of political whirlwind regarding race. Racist pictures of Gov. Ralph Northam surfaced, including photos of blackface and another in a Klu Klux Klan outfit. Northam says that he did use black shoe polish to resemble Michael Jackson in a dance contest.
What the First Lady Has to Say
“As First Lady, I have worked over the course of the last year to begin telling the full story of the Executive Mansion, which has mainly centered on Virginia’s governors. The Historic Kitchen should be a feature of Executive Mansion tours, and 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. 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 regret that I have upset anyone. 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.”
Governor Ralph Northam initially tried to deny that the photos the surfaced were not of him, but as Gov. Northam has elaborated more on the incidents, he has since admitted in partaking in racist activities. Whether or not Northam will be reelected remains to be seen. This incident has sparked outrage with the people of Virginia, as it should. Virginia has the chance to reject a racist leader to elect someone who will treat every citizen, and person, as an equal American.