Racist yearbook photos & slurs, another day in Virginia politics

Future Senate Majority Leader Tommy Norment oversaw the 1968 yearbook at Virginia Military Institute.

Virginia Sen. Tommy Norment‘s name is now on a growing list of politicians immersed in scandal because of, well, racism.

The state’s future Senate majority leader served as managing editor of a Virginia Military Institute yearbook that includes racial slurs and photos. Some images include blackface, according to The Virginian-Pilot.

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The n-word is mentioned at least once in the 1968 edition of the school’s yearbook, The Bomb. On one page of the publication, a student poses in blackface and on another page, two men are found in blackface holding a football.

Other photos include racial comments towards an Asian student and a Jewish student.

A reporter asked Norment about the yearbook on late Thursday morning and he responded saying, “The only thing I’m talking about today is the budget.”

“I’m here to pass a budget today,” he added when he was on the way to a Republican Caucus meeting.

A few hours later after his comment, he issued a statement:

“The use of blackface is abhorrent in our society and I emphatically condemn it. As one of seven working on a 359-page yearbook, I cannot endorse or associate myself with every photo, entry, or word on each page. However, I am not in any of the photos referenced on pages 82 or 122, nor did I take any of the photos in question.”

“As my comment on Page 236 notes, I supported the integration of VMI,” the statement continued. “And in 1997, I led the effort to have my alma mater include women for the first time.”

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This news comes as other Virginia lawmakers make headlines amid accusations of racism, or at least turning a blind eye to it.

Many people are advocating for Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam to resign after photos surfaced of his medical school yearbook, showing students in blackface, and sporting a KKK uniform.

Attorney General Mark Herring, who would be next in line to serve as governor the state, earlier this week admitted to wearing blackface while attending the University of Virginia.