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Pamela Northam Scandal

Pamela Northam, wife of Governor Ralph Northam, has been recently under fire for racist comments

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Pamela Northam Scandal

A view of the Governor's Mansion in Richmond, VA

A view of the Governor's Mansion in Richmond, VA

Markus Terhorst

A view of the Governor's Mansion in Richmond, VA

Markus Terhorst

Markus Terhorst

A view of the Governor's Mansion in Richmond, VA

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While giving a tour around the Governor’s Mansion on February 21, 2019, Pamela Northam gave African American 8th graders raw cotton, stating, “Imagine picking this in the fields as a slave,”

Talking to CBS News  about the incident, Northam proclaimed that her reasoning for addressing slavery on the tour was because it gave insight, specifically stating, “It’s a disservice to Virginians if we omit the stories from slaves who lived and worked here.” She encouraged the kids to touch all the agricultural products, and artifacts, “as a part of an educational tour.” She apologized later that day for her inappropriate and unprofessional behavior.

CBS news obtained a letter from a student on the field trip. In the letter /the student wrote, “There are only three Black pages in the page class of 2019. When you went to hand out the cotton you handed it straight to another African American page, then you proceeded to hand it to me, I did not take it. The other page took the cotton, but it made her very uncomfortable. I will give you the benefit of the doubt, because you gave it to some other pages. But you followed this up by asking: “Can you imagine being an enslaved person, and having to pick this all day?” The student described Northam’s comments and demeanor as unwelcoming, writing, “From the time we walked into the mansion to the time in the cottage house, I did not receive a welcoming vibe. It was very testing to know I had to go somewhere, and I had no choice as to if I went, I had to be respectful, and be on my best behavior, even when the people in positions of power I was around were not doing the same.”

In general, the public does not think that the Northam’s apologies makes up for their racism, they want immediate resignation. Leah Dozier Walker the mother of the child, wrote a letter expressing her daughter’s dissatisfaction   Walker says, “I can not for the life of me understand why the First Lady would single out the African American pages for this – or – why she would ask them such an insensitive question.” Leah Walker has been identified as the head of Office of Equity and Community Engagement for Virginia’s Department of Education. Pamela’s spokesperson says  ”But the actions of Mrs. Northam, just last week, do not lead me to believe that this Governor’s office has taken seriously the harm and hurt they have caused African Americans in Virginia or that they are deserving of our forgiveness.” Leah went on to say that” Ralph’s “flip-flopping” of his explanation of this subject shows he’s untrustworthy, and incompetence to lead our government.

“I regret that I have upset anyone,” Northam said. “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.” She didn’t intentionally single out the two African American children. This fauxpas is only a few weeks after her husband Ralph Northam, Virginias’ Governor was under fire for his racist yearbook picture. 

Markus Terhorst
Ralph Northam addresses the public for his yearbook photo

If Northam resigns the governorship, Lieutenant Governor Democrat Justin Fairfax will take the position.

He doesn’t have a clean record either, however. Soon after Ralph Northam’s racist yearbook photo, he was accused of two acts of sexual assault  Once in 2000, during the Democratic National Convention and the other in 2004 during the National Democratic Convention. If neither Ralph nor Justin can be governor, then Attorney General Mark Herring would take the place of governor. During the Ralph Northam controversy, however, Mark admitted that in 1980 during a college party he wore blackface.

Markus Terhorst
Justin Farfaix appears in front of the grand jury for an alleged sexual assault charge

Ralph Northam met with former Republican Virginia Governor Robert F McConnell, calling Virginians for reconciliation. He has been ignoring Democrat’s calls for resignation, telling advisers “he will spend the next 3 years focusing on understanding and combating racial inequality”.  On March 10th 2019, he attended a African American Church service in Petersburg,Virginia. He also panned to meet with Norfolk State University historian Cassandra Newby-Alexander the next day, but after widespread rejection from the student body, the meeting was canceled.

 

 

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Pamela Northam Scandal