CNN host Van Jones implied on The Van Jones Show Saturday that Mark Herring should not face calls to resign over wearing blackface because it happened when he was a teenager and the Virginia attorney general apologized.
“Obviously white people painting their faces and acting out black stereotypes is always racist and terrible, fine,” Jones said. (RELATED: Virginia AG Admits To Wearing Blackface In 1980 After Calling On Northam To Resign)
“But all offenses are not equal. In Virginia the attorney general is facing calls to resign because he came forward and admitted that he painted his face like a rapper when he was 19. Okay look, dumb, offensive. He was a teenager. Teenagers do dumb stuff. As a fully grown man he came forward, he admitted it, he apologized. We all make mistakes. All you can ask of people is to own their screw ups and to learn and to grow.”
Jones contrasted the Herring situation with Virginia Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam’s yearbook picture, which shows one person in blackface and another in a Ku Klux Klan costume. The photo appeared on a page set aside for him in his 1984 medical school yearbook.
“That is totally different though from the governor of Virginia. He was a 25-year-old medical student, not a teenager, and it wasn’t just black face. Somebody in the picture was wearing a Klan hood. Okay, that’s a terrorist organization. Then he apologized but he never explained whether he was the guy in the Klan hood or the blackface. Then he took the apology back and said well never mind, I wasn’t in that photo. Got confused where I painted my face like Michael Jackson and then his wife had to tell him not to moon walk at a press conference. Okay, now that guy probably should not be the governor of a state, okay. Nuance.”
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