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Tags: blackface | racism | virginia | thomas norment | ralph northam

Virginia State Sen. Edited 1968 VMI Yearbook With Racist Photos

virginia republican state senator thomas norment throws up five fingers of his left hand while speaking
Virginia GOP State Sen. Tommy Norment (Steve Helber/AP)

By    |   Thursday, 07 February 2019 03:59 PM

Another member of Virginia's state leadership is caught up in a scandal involving racist photos.

Virginia State Sen. Tommy Norment, the Republican majority leader in the chamber, was the managing editor for the yearbook of the Virginia Military Institute's 1968 graduating class. Called The Bomb, the publication Norment worked on with six other editors contained several images of students in blackface, at least one Confederate flag photo, and multiple racial slurs — including the N-word, according to The Virginian-Pilot.

The Bomb has been published every year since 1897, and the 1968 yearbook marked the first year blacks were allowed in the military college.

Norment declined to comment when the Pilot asked him about the yearbook Thursday, but his spokesman later issued a statement that condemned blackface as he tried to separate himself from the controversy.

"The use of blackface is abhorrent in our society, and I emphatically condemn it," Norment said. "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. And in 1997, I led the effort to have my alma mater include women for the first time."

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam is caught up in scandals surrounding his recent comment about allowing infanticide and racist yearbook photos, while Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax is accused of sexually assaulting a woman almost 15 years ago.

Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring, who like Northam and Fairfax is a Democrat, admitted to wearing blackface in 1980 as a college student.

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GOP state Sen. Tommy Norment was the managing editor for Virginia Military Institute's 1968 yearbook, which contained several images of students in blackface, at least one Confederate flag photo, and multiple racial slurs, including the N-word, The Virginian-Pilot reported.
blackface, racism, virginia, thomas norment, ralph northam
291
2019-59-07
Thursday, 07 February 2019 03:59 PM
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