For Immediate Release
February 7, 2019
Contact: Jasmine Leeward, [email protected]
New Virginia Majority condemns Attorney General Mark Herring performance of Blackface, calls for renewed commitment to racial justice
New Virginia Majority is disappointed to learn that Attorney General Mark Herring has engaged in the hurtful, racist performance of blackface. As Virginia commemorates the 400th year of when enslaved African were first brought to Jamestown, it is especially painful to Black people who elected him and view him as a champion.
Jamaa Bickley King, Board President, New Virginia Majority
As the grandson of civil rights attorney Oliver Hill, I know the importance of leading with integrity-- not just through rhetoric, but by action. I’ve watched Attorney General Herring defend Virginia’s communities of color through his advocacy on removing Jim Crow relics that permanently strip the right to vote from people with felonies. I have seen him defend immigrant families, whether in court against the Muslim travel ban or standing with DACA recipients in the fight for tuition equity. While we condemn his past actions, I believe Attorney General Herring understands now that the color of our skin is not a costume, our struggles are not a performance, and the horrors that we have endured on this land are worthy of more respect than a late night college party. He has been honest about his racist behavior and now he must recommit to dismantling the racist systems that we continue to face in Virginia.
New Virginia Majority builds power in working-class communities of color across the Commonwealth. We organize for racial and economic justice through large-scale political education, mobilization and advocacy around dozens of issues. We fight for a Virginia that is just, democratic and environmentally sustainable