Another Anti-Trump Democrat Embroiled in Racist Controversy
SEE ALSO: Democratic Star's Medical School Yearbook Page Shows Blackface and KKK Photo
Mr. Herring said in a statement that the incident transpired at a party, where the then 19-year-old undergraduate and his friends dressed up like rappers they idolized. (NBC News)
Herring called it "a onetime occurrence" and said, "I accept full responsibility for my conduct." He said "the shame of that moment has haunted me for decades."
"That conduct clearly shows that, as a young man, I had a callous and inexcusable lack of awareness and insensitivity to the pain my behavior could inflict on others. It was really a minimization of both people of color, and a minimization of a horrific history I knew well even then," the statement said.
"This conduct is in no way reflective of the man I have become in the nearly 40 years since."
His announcement comes as Gov. Ralph Northam is facing a deluge of calls to resign after a photo on his medical school yearbook page showed a person in blackface alongside someone in Ku Klax Klan robes. Northam at first acknowledged he was in the picture, but then denied he was in it at a press conference the next day. At the press conference, he also admitted to reporters that he dressed in blackface as part of a Michael Jackson costume at a dance contest in 1984.
The theatrical use of blackface gained widespread popularity in 19th century America. White performers used it to reinforce racist stereotypes about black people.
By the mid-20th century, its use began to dwindle as society's views on race shifted.
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(Video H/T Fox News)