African-American leaders shocked by Herring controversy

African-American leaders shocked by Herring blackface admission

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - After Attorney General Mark Herring admitted in a statement to wearing blackface to a college party, lawmakers within the Legislative Black Caucus did not comment Wednesday.

Veteran Senator Louise Lucas (D-Portsmouth) simply said “you’ll hear from me later, I just can’t talk right now," as she left senate chambers. Once outside, Lucas simply held her head down, needing to take a moment to breath before leaving the Capitol.

Source: NBC Washington
Source: NBC Washington

Delegate Lamont Bagby said Wednesday that a statement would eventually be released in response to Herring’s admission.

Richmond NAACP President JJ Minor said he was shocked by the admission, but says he has not known Herring to be racist.

“Of course this is offensive. I have got to go on record and say this is offensive,” said Minor. “However, I don’t think Mark Herring is the man he used to be, I think he has evolved since then.”

Minor pointed to Herrings tough stance on fighting hate crimes, and his recent series of round table discussions, bringing together leaders from diverse backgrounds to talk about issues within certain communities. He says Virginia is “better” than the controversy that continues to spill out of the capitol surrounding high ranking elected officials.

“This blackface thing, it’s really serious, and personally I am getting sick and tired of hearing about it because I have a black face, and it’s stained, and you will not wash the color away,” he explained. “Either we are going to live on this planet getting along or we are going to stay divided, it’s plain and simple.”

The Richmond NAACP is in the process of planning a town hall meeting to discuss the racial tension and social issues happening in the Commonwealth, and feels the community has to move forward from the scandals.

“I’m praying for government right now, and I’m praying for Virginia," he said.

Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney also weighed in on Herring’s admission.

“He provided a sincere apology about what occurred in 1980. I could feel his shame, however that doesn’t make it alright,” he said.

When asked whether Herring should resign, the mayor said Herring should do what’s best for the Commonwealth of Virginia.

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