The Commonwealth of Virginia has become embroiled in a series of scandals over the past week. One of them involves Attorney General Mark R. Herring, who apologized on February 6 for wearing blackface styled after Kurtis Blow at a costume party in 1980 when he was 19.
"Some friends suggested we attend a party dressed like rappers we listened to at the time, like Kurtis Blow, and perform a song,” Herring said in his apology. “[B]ecause of our ignorance and glib attitudes—and because we did not have an appreciation for the experiences and perspective of others—we dressed up and put on wigs and brown makeup.”
On Friday, Blow issued his statement on the controversy. Read his Instagram post below via Pitchfork. "It is unfortunate that in this current climate we are confronted with the use of blackface as a barometer of where we are as a society," Blow wrote. "It is my hope that these regrettable actions can be turned into teachable moments."
Speaking with TMZ, Blow said that he was "praying" for Herring and said he found his conduct to be "totally offensive and disrespectful, degrading."
Herring's statement was the second in three blackface scandals that broke this week. The first involved Virginia Governor Ralph Northam, whose 1984 yearbook contains a photograph of two men, one wearing blackface and another in a Ku Klux Klan uniform. Northam initially apologized for appearing in the photograph, then backtracked and claimed he was neither person. On February 8, Virginia State Senate leader Tommy Norment was revealed as the editor of the 1968 yearbook for the Virginia Military Institute, which contained numerous instances of blackface, anti-semitism, and anti-Asian racism.