Press Releases

CBC Chair Karen Bass and Whip Donald McEachin Join Meet the Press with Chuck Todd

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Washington, February 3, 2019 | comments
WASHINGTON – The Congressional Black Caucus Chair and Whip, Congressmember Karen Bass (D-CA) and Congressman A. Donald McEachin (VA-04), joined NBC’s Meet the Press following their call for Ralph Northam, current governor of Virginia, to resign following horrific yearbook photos that surfaced on Friday.

CBC Chair Rep. Bass’ excerpts from the interview:

“[Northam is] forcing the wrong conversation [by not resigning]. What he should do is resign and then if he has any integrity at all, he should participate in that conversation. He was completely disingenuous when he talked about how he didn't understand this in 1984 and this is commonplace. He's basically saying he participated in it, and especially describing the time he did the Michael Jackson impression and that he was willing to moonwalk until his wife stopped him, which shows he still does not understand the seriousness of his actions.”

“I think [Northam staying] is a perfect example of extending the pain. If he was sincere at all, he would recognize the pain that he has caused. The way he described 1984, I mean, that is just so not true. 1984 was a time of great hope. We were hopeful that we would have the first Black president, that was in the middle of Jessie Jackson's campaign and in the middle of the anti-apartheid movement. So he's basically shown he's not honest. He needs to resign and if there was any way he could regain his integrity, he should resign and then begin the conversation.”

CBC Whip Rep. McEachin’s excerpts from the interview:

“I can tell you that to the best of my knowledge, it was not commonplace in 1984. But let’s assume, without conceding, that it was commonplace. Slavery was commonplace, that doesn’t make it right. Massive resistance was commonplace, that doesn’t make it right. Jim Crow was commonplace, that doesn’t make it right. So, if blackface was commonplace was 1984 – that doesn’t make it right. Ralph should have known better.

“The question now [for Northam] is can you lead? Can you help us heal? Given the actions that he’s demonstrated over the past 48 hours, the answer is clearly no.

“I want America to remember that this is the 400th anniversary of Africans coming to the shores of Jamestown in chains…that commemoration combined with a governor that’s been talking about blackface and misleading us about blackface is not the look that I think Virginia wants to portray to the nation.”

Full interview is available here.

Read the CBC’s initial statement calling for Governor Northam to resign here, and the statement released after his press conference refusing to resign here

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