Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez addressed the members of the Virginia state government who have been accused of wearing blackface during a Thursday interview with MSNBC’s Chuck Todd.
“It’s not always just about who did what, but it’s how our leadership really deals with the things that they have done. And so what I think when we see a crisis of confidence with some of the folks in Virginia, it’s the way they are handling these issues,” Ocasio-Cortez began. “It’s are we using this as a moment to model what evolution on race looks like? And if you’re squandering that moment, you will have a crisis of confidence in your electorate.”
“There are two paths you could go, right? Gov. Northam said I should stay in office because I can have the conversation better in office. What do you make of that?” Todd asked.
“You know, if that were true, he would have used that moment to do this,” Ocasio-Cortez followed up. (RELATED: Does Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal Outlaw Every Building In The Country?)
“So you think he might’ve had that opportunity had he used it in that moment,” Todd said. “And you might’ve been able to say okay I’ll give you a chance to say.”
“Absolutely,” Ocasio-Cortez continued. (RELATED: Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine Will Wait On Fairfax Accuser To Step Forward Before Considering Charge)
“What about a Justin Fairfax?”
The congresswoman responded:
With him, what I will say is that the degree of the photos, to that extent, in his specific situation, I don’t think there was a way out of it, I will say that. But I do think that in general if there was an elected official that was in some degree, you know there was another person who proactively made a statement that said, ‘Hey, when I was 19 I had a mistaken Halloween costume, I’m going to tell you before it comes out, and I want to tell you how I’ve learned from it.’
The other person Ocasio-Cortez referred to was Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring, who called for Northam to resign, only later to acknowledge that he, too, was photographed in blackface back in 1980.