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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.

Confirmed Cases: 30995

Reported Deaths: 529
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah6853133
Marion446690
Washington431558
Umatilla291641
Clackamas227361
Malheur153923
Jackson10574
Lane99115
Deschutes77712
Yamhill73814
Jefferson5138
Polk50315
Morrow4906
Lincoln47313
Linn46813
Union4352
Benton2806
Klamath2752
Hood River2450
Wasco2443
Douglas2113
Josephine1862
Columbia1531
Coos1420
Clatsop1210
Baker902
Crook601
Tillamook490
Curry300
Lake280
Wallowa281
Sherman180
Harney120
Gilliam80
Grant80
Unassigned00
Wheeler00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 790096

Reported Deaths: 15056
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles2614466366
Riverside574191162
San Bernardino52649908
Orange522011128
San Diego44925760
Kern31509354
Fresno27769355
Sacramento21628383
Alameda20641374
Santa Clara20511297
San Joaquin19841415
Stanislaus16351337
Contra Costa15958201
Tulare15599256
Ventura12406143
Imperial11583314
San Francisco1080799
San Mateo9598143
Monterey955067
Santa Barbara8880110
Merced8750134
Kings743077
Sonoma7112114
Marin6591112
Solano617555
Madera439162
Placer348841
San Luis Obispo339327
Butte276435
Yolo275454
Santa Cruz22188
Sutter164210
Napa162613
San Benito131011
Yuba11187
El Dorado10734
Mendocino85118
Lassen7350
Shasta70914
Glenn5503
Nevada5116
Colusa5106
Tehama5094
Lake49210
Humboldt4856
Calaveras31114
Amador28616
Tuolumne2214
Inyo18714
Mono1652
Siskiyou1610
Del Norte1361
Mariposa752
Plumas490
Modoc240
Trinity150
Sierra60
Alpine20
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