After Virginia’s Democratic Governor Ralph Northam admitted to dressing up in blackface during his college years, Democrats and Republicans alike called for his resignation, but now it looks like Republicans are facing a similar dilemma.
According to The Virginian-Pilot, state Senate Majority Leader Tommy Norment was an editor for the 1968 Virginia Military Institute yearbook, which featured photos of students in blackface and a slew of racial slurs.
Norment, R-James City County, was managing editor of The Bomb publication that year. He went to VMI in Lexington after graduating from James Blair High School in Williamsburg and has been a state senator since 1992.
On one page of the yearbook, a student poses in blackface, surrounded by others in costumes at a party. Another page features a photo of two men in blackface holding a football.
The N-word is used at least once. A student listed as being from Bangkok, Thailand, is referred to as a “Chink” and “Jap.”
The Pilot said 1968 was also the first year that black students were permitted to enroll at the institute.
Norment refused to comment on the yearbook matter when approached by a reporter on Thursday, saying, “The only thing I’m talking about today is the budget.”
“It has been the objective of this year’s Bomb staff to concentrate on the VMI as it exists in actuality, not in theory,” Norment wrote in the yearbook on a page for its editors. “There is an ever-broadening chasm between the two positions. With the completion of this editorial and the 1968 Bomb, I regretfully leave behind the theme ‘Honor Above Self’ and the loyalty of a few selected Brother Rats. Work on the Bomb has permitted me to release four years of inhibitions. And now, I am sorry our work is completed. It is a feeling only genuinely understood by those of us who labored in the ‘den of inequity.’”