Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring admitted to wearing blackface during a college party in 1980, the latest stunning, political bombshell to rock Richmond as the state’s embattled governor and lieutenant governor also find themselves embroiled in scandal.
In a lengthy statement on Wednesday, Herring, a Democrat, said he wore brown makeup and a wig in 1980 to look like a black rapper during a party as an undergraduate at the University of Virginia.
“In 1980, when I was a 19-year-old undergraduate in college, some friends suggested we attend a party dressed like rappers we listened to at the time, like Kurtis Blow, and perform a song,” Herring said. “It sounds ridiculous even now writing it. But because of our ignorance and glib attitudes – and because we did not have an appreciation for the experiences and perspectives of others – we dressed up and put on wigs and brown makeup.”
Said Herring, “This was a onetime occurrence and I accept full responsibility for my conduct.”
Following his admission, Herring resigned Wednesday as co-chairman of the Democratic Attorneys General Association.
The revelation further roils the top levels of Virginia government.