RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - The Rev. Al Sharpton didn’t hold back on his thoughts Thursday about the controversy surrounding the state’s top leaders.
“You are a blackface user,” Sharpton said.
Sharpton spoke to an energized crowd Thursday and he makes it clear how he feels.
“I flew out of New York to tell you that your political days are over!” Sharpton said.
Sharpton is calling for both Gov. Ralph Northam and Attorney General Mark Herring to resign after recent blackface controversies.
Northam took responsibility for that photo, but said in the hours following he reflected with family and friends and does not believe the photo is of him because he has no memory of it. Northam said he first saw the photo from a 1984 yearbook that includes someone in blackface and a KKK robe after it became public.
“If somebody had to tell you that you weren’t in the picture, that means you had a reasonable thought you might have been in the picture,” Sharpton said.
Northam denies being in the yearbook photo but admitted to a separate incident when he used shoe polish to darken his face to imitate Michael Jackson.
“I saw kids sleep in the lobby of the hotel where Michael stayed wearing gloves, but I have never seen one white kid with blackface on,” Sharpton said.
“It’s not by happening chance that God pulled back the covers in Virginia - the capitol of the Confederacy,” Deloris McQuinn said.
For the first time we are hearing from Democratic Virginia House Delegate Deloris McQuinn.
McQuinn would not say whether she feels Northam should step down but calls for everyone else to step up.
“We can be pained, it’s painful. We can hurt, we can feel all of the emotions but then after that it’s time to work,” McQuinn said.
“I believe I was one of the first ones to say he must go,” Michael Jones said.
No question, Richmond City Councilman Michael Jones says Northam must go.
“He is not fit to lead. He stood in my church with my family and talked about his record. We would not have allowed that had we have know he had done blackface,” Jones said.
When It comes to Fairfax, Sharpton said now is the time to listen and investigate.
“Any accusation made should be fully investigated. This woman should not be disrespected but neither should Fairfax. They have a different set of facts,” Sharpton said.
Sharpton’s views on Northam stands strong.
“If the governor wants to repent and grow. If the attorney general wants to repent and grow then good. The best example of that is to say I’m resigning ,” Sharpton said.