Oregon Governor Says Virginia Governor Should Resign

Governor Kate Brown has weighed in on the political crisis in Virginia, saying her counterpart there should step down.

Posted: Feb 7, 2019 12:27 PM
Updated: Feb 7, 2019 4:34 PM

By ANDREW SELSKY , Associated Press

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Democratic Oregon Gov. Kate Brown called for her Virginia counterpart to step down over a racist photo in his 1984 medical school yearbook.

"It's appalling, all of it," Brown told reporters Thursday when asked about Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam. "He should resign. And then we have the next layer of issue, right? And one after that."

She was referring to Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, the next in line for succession to Virginia's highest office, who is accused of sexual assault; and Attorney General Mark Herring, the second in line, who acknowledged he once put on blackface in college.

Northam apologized for appearing in a photo on his medical school yearbook page showing someone in blackface and another in a Ku Klux Klan outfit, then later denied he was in the photo.

"I think part of it awareness on these issues," Brown said when asked why some people don't understand that such costumes are offensive. "I think some of it is stupidity, honestly."

The governor, who is only the second female governor elected in Oregon and is the first openly bisexual governor in the United States, said America needs to have a broader conversation at every level about race and the impacts of racial inequities and racial justice.

"I wish we had a president who was willing to lead on this," she said, referring to President Donald Trump, who flirts with racially tinged rhetoric and who said there were "very fine people" among white supremacist protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017. One woman was killed when a neo-Nazi drove a car into counterprotesters.

White people don't know what it's like to live in a world where they are treated differently because of the color of their skin, Brown said.

"I only know from my experiences what it's like to be treated differently because I'm female or because I'm bisexual," the governor told reporters sitting with her at a conference table in her office. "That can translate a little bit, but it is not the same."

Racial discrimination is more explicit in Virginia, which grapples with a legacy of slavery and white supremacy, but it also exists — in a more subtle form — in Oregon, Brown said.

Brown earlier Thursday proclaimed February as African-American history month in Oregon, and said she commented to an education department official at the ceremony that high school graduation rates for African-American students remain low. The graduation rate for the state improved slightly to 78.7 percentage points but was only 68 percent for African-American students.

"That tells me we have a lot of work to do," Brown said, advocating education, a change in culture and providing better awareness as ways to erase racism.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 191774

Reported Deaths: 2533
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah38030585
Washington25362229
Marion21859306
Clackamas17262209
Lane12861146
Jackson10739135
Deschutes875974
Umatilla814084
Linn485267
Yamhill442875
Klamath433061
Polk371352
Malheur350461
Josephine331669
Douglas323170
Benton306019
Jefferson217434
Coos205033
Columbia172726
Union144423
Lincoln137120
Wasco137128
Hood River118330
Morrow110115
Crook107620
Clatsop9768
Baker94714
Curry6459
Tillamook6423
Grant5065
Lake4447
Harney3418
Wallowa1825
Gilliam621
Sherman581
Wheeler281
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3760303

Reported Deaths: 62334
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles123582824026
Riverside2991734588
San Bernardino2966554707
San Diego2781823725
Orange2708005008
Santa Clara1189322086
Kern1090521373
Sacramento1044911676
Fresno1017291682
Alameda876371546
Ventura809051011
San Joaquin731741391
Contra Costa68638806
Stanislaus620081056
Tulare49579839
Monterey43595382
San Mateo41903568
San Francisco36669543
Santa Barbara34323456
Solano32864250
Merced31821459
Sonoma30002318
Imperial28388722
Kings22977246
Placer22610291
San Luis Obispo21293260
Madera16444242
Santa Cruz16238206
Marin14040228
Yolo13897209
Shasta12110226
Butte11985199
El Dorado10141113
Napa985781
Sutter9421111
Yuba625346
San Benito605663
Lassen570124
Tehama556362
Nevada473675
Tuolumne412966
Mendocino407249
Humboldt398040
Amador365547
Lake347143
Glenn238225
Colusa223216
Siskiyou220523
Calaveras212553
Inyo142838
Del Norte13808
Mono12804
Plumas7106
Modoc4984
Mariposa4477
Trinity4005
Sierra1120
Alpine880
Unassigned390
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