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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.

Cases: 348766

Reported Deaths: 4161
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah54797689
Washington37988313
Marion36055444
Clackamas29094304
Lane26966298
Jackson22632300
Deschutes19577123
Umatilla14241144
Linn12380120
Douglas11795240
Josephine9233195
Yamhill8517110
Klamath7709110
Polk715380
Malheur551574
Benton529130
Coos489691
Columbia371343
Jefferson361450
Union313146
Lincoln310638
Wasco281540
Crook274745
Clatsop239529
Baker198028
Tillamook193328
Hood River188337
Morrow181623
Curry178122
Harney108424
Grant97612
Lake89011
Wallowa67012
Gilliam1484
Sherman1463
Wheeler991
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 4810682

Reported Deaths: 70604
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles147569426398
Riverside3693444990
San Diego3641044163
San Bernardino3563155566
Orange3227415518
Sacramento1576212279
Santa Clara1445181890
Kern1441461605
Fresno1441232051
Alameda1198871374
San Joaquin1018071708
Ventura1005241164
Contra Costa99234982
Stanislaus851571315
Tulare78945951
San Francisco54031645
San Mateo53828622
Monterey50696582
Solano45761334
Santa Barbara44836521
Merced41781577
Sonoma40711402
Placer38902415
Imperial35642764
Kings32369314
San Luis Obispo29653329
Madera23518281
Butte23364260
Shasta23360334
Santa Cruz20861218
Yolo20147247
Marin17581243
El Dorado16960149
Sutter13775169
Napa12808100
Yuba994282
Tehama9298104
Humboldt9102108
Nevada903990
Mendocino752786
Lassen746346
San Benito737372
Tuolumne673993
Lake6506104
Amador537264
Siskiyou442742
Glenn430330
Calaveras381780
Del Norte356141
Colusa301718
Inyo196739
Mono16445
Plumas15756
Mariposa127315
Trinity86011
Modoc6698
Unassigned1860
Sierra1760
Alpine1020
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