‘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 Dozier Walker, disappointed mom of Black page girl
Wife of blackface Gov. Ralph Northam accused of handing cotton to black eighth-grade students during mansion tour and asking them to ‘imagine being enslaved’
Virginia first lady Pam Northam was hosting around 100 young people last week
The unidentified eighth-grader said she ‘did not receive a welcoming vibe’
Her mom said it shows the couple ‘are not deserving of our forgiveness’
But Mrs Northam’s spokeswoman denied the claims saying she did not single out
Virginia’s first lady said separately: ‘I regret that I have upset anyone’
Ralph was last week he forced to cancel an appearance at a historically black uni
So far he’s faced down calls to resign after the racist photo on his school yearbook page went viral
Pam Northam allegedly singled out the only three pages [the only African American pages in the program of 100] handed them cotton, before asking if they could imagine what it must have been like to pick cotton all day
More of the same: Pam Northam seen [right], with her husband, Virginia’s embattled Democratic Gov., Ralph Northam, has been accused of handing cotton to black eighth-grade students during a tour of their mansion and then asking them to ‘imagine being enslaved’.
The wife of Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam has been accused of overt racism after she was alleged to have targeted black eighth-grade students during a tour of their mansion and then asking them to ‘imagine being enslaved’.
The latest embarrassment in the governor’s mansion, comes just weeks after the Governor himself went into overdrive to tamp down Democratic outcry over blackface photo posted in his medical school yearbook
Virginia first lady Pam Northam is said to have upset one of the youngsters while hosting around 100 young people who had served as pages during the state Senate session on February 21.
In a letter to Mrs Northam from the unidentified eighth-grader she said the first lady’s ‘comments and just the way you carried yourself … was beyond inappropriate, especially considering recent events with the governor.
‘From the time we walked into the mansion I did not receive a welcoming vibe.’
In a letter to lawmakers and the governor’s office she wrote: ‘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.’
She added: ‘Mrs. Northam then asked these three pages [the only African American pages in the program] if they could imagine what it must have been like to pick cotton all day.
‘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.’
The Virginia governor’s residence was built with slave labor in 1813, The Washington Post reports.
Her embattled husband Ralph Northam was last week he forced to cancel an appearance at historically black Virginia Union University. Northam was supposed to take part in a public tribute to the Richmond 34 Thursday on the campus.
But he canceled his appearance after students asked him not to come, saying his presence could overshadow the event.
Northam has indicated he wants to make criminal justice reform a key part of his efforts to win back support of the black community during his remaining three years in office. Other areas of focus include helping minority-owned businesses and improving health outcomes of minority patients.
Leaders throughout Virginia’s political structure have called on Gov. Ralph Northam to resign after a racist photo on his 1984 medical school yearbook page surfaced at the beginning of the month.
Northam apologized, initially saying he appeared in a photo showing one man in blackface and another wearing a Ku Klux Klan hood and robe. Northam did not say which costume he wore. The next day he said he no longer believed he was in the photo but acknowledged wearing blackface the same year to look like Michael Jackson in a dance contest.
The political pressure for his ouster lessened considerably as scandals have enveloped his would-be successors. Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, has denied allegations from two women that he sexually assaulted them, and Attorney General Mark Herring said he wore blackface in college, making the public admission just a few days after calling for Northam to resign.
Northam has largely stayed out of sight since then, with his only other public event being the funeral of a state trooper.