Accuser willing to testify to Virginia lawmakers

Reuters

The sit-down with CBS was the Democratic governor's first television interview since a racist photo in his 1984 medical school yearbook emerged on February 1, prompting leading Democrats to call for Northam's resignation. And after toying with the idea of resigning for more than a week, Northam has apparently come to a decision not to step down. Asked about this week in VA, Northam responds by referring to kidnapped, enslaved, & trafficked Africans as 'indentured servants, ' tweeted Qasim Rashid, a Muslim activist who lives in Virginia.

"It's been a horrific week for Virginia. A lot of individuals across Virginia have been hurt", Northam told the Post, the first interview he's given since news broke.

A second woman accused Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax of sexual assault Friday, saying the Democrat raped her 19 years ago while they were both students at Duke University. "Lt. Governor Fairfax's assertion that these sexual assaults were consensual, while simultaneously trying both on and off the record to discredit the victims, says all you need to know about his lack of fitness to serve in public office". And these accusations are very, very serious.

A photo on Northam's 1984 yearbook page includes a photo of a person in blackface and another in a Ku Klux Klan robe.

".I can not agree with a description of events I know is not true", he wrote.

"I deny this latest unsubstantiated allegation", the embattled Democrat said.

"There ought to be a process, there should be an investigation", Sabato said.

Looking ahead, Northam said he has asked his cabinet secretaries to come up with specific proposals to begin addressing issues of inequality, such as expanding access to healthcare, housing and transportation, and to begin reporting suggestions this week. It will be very positive and you know we have a number of inequities in this country right now and in Virginia.

"Any issue of race or sexual harassment or assault like we saw, like we've seen recently in Virginia, there's no debating that, in the Christian community it's wrong". But we need somebody who - who cannot only address the wrongs of the past, but take Virginia into the future.

Northam has been in seclusion all week, using tunnels to shuttle between the mansion and the nearby building where he has an office.

Fairfax faces calls from many fellow Democrats to resign after Watson's accusation followed one by Scripps College professor Vanessa Tyson, who accused Fairfax of assaulting her at the Democratic National Convention in 2004, as the Post and others reported. I have learned from this.

"The legacy of slavery, racism and the Jim Crow era remains an albatross around the necks of African Americans", said a statement from the state assembly's powerful Black Caucus, which like the NAACP has urged Northam to stand down.

That may not satisfy Virginians, who, according to recent polls, are thoroughly divided on whether Northam should step down from office.

Wise said she felt betrayed by Northam's revelations, particularly because he remained silent about his own past after the events of Charlottesville. He added: "That's why I'm not going anywhere".

"Do I think I should support Democrats to the point where I allow certain things that my great-grandparents would slap me in the face for letting slide?"

Twitter, however, wasn't impressed by Northam's progress so far.

But his first example of action was modest. "Our school looks at it that way and we'll do whatever we can to make sure that we answer whatever questions are posed to us".

Meanwhile the Republican party in Virginia has also been hit by its own blackface scandal after it emerged that Virginia Senate Majority Leader Tommy Norment edited a 1968 college publication containing slurs and blackface photos.

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