The wife of beleaguered Virginia Governor Ralph Northam is being accused of racial insensitivity for handing cotton to African-American students during tours of the Governor’s mansion, asking them to imagine picking the substance as slaves.
A state employee alleges that Pam Northam handed cotton to her daughter as well as another African-American eighth grader during a school field trip to the Governor’s mansion. Mrs. Northam apparently thought handing a ball of cotton to the students would be an appropriate lesson on the history of slavery in Virginia.
Leah Dozier Walker, the mother of the student who was offered cotton by Pam Northam, suggested the incident was indicative of a lack of reflection over racial insensitivity on the part of the Northams.
“The actions of Mrs. Northam, just last week, do not lead me to believe that this Governor’s office has taken seriously the harm and hurt they have caused African Americans in Virginia or that they are deserving of our forgiveness.”
Virginia’s First Lady has been present throughout her husband’s blackface and KKK college yearbook scandal. She doused a suggestion to “moonwalk” from the beleaguered governor during a press conference in which he attempted to explain away his yearbook controversy. While she may have saved him serious embarrassment in preventing him from moonwalking at a press conference in which he sought to answer racism allegations, she may have been less politically suave in her decision to engage in racially insensitive behavior that many are comparing to her husband’s.
Northam appears obstinate in his desire to remain in office, despite widespread calls from parties such as the NAACP and Virginia state legislators for him to resign.
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