The photo on Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam’s medical school yearbook page of a man in blackface and another man dressed in a KKK costume is sparking a national conversation. The racist act of wearing blackface goes back to the mid-19th century. It’s 2019 and Black people still have to explain why it’s offensive.
Bakari Sellers represented South Carolina’s 90th district in the lower house of the state legislature from 2006 to 2014. Sellers became the youngest Black politician in the country at age 22.
He explained on CNN’s “State of the Union” what white people don’t understand about blackface.
“First we have to say that Democrats and Republicans alike have problems with race in this country,” Sellers began. “We can say that Republicans have more of an issue, but that doesn’t matter. Racism is in the fabric of the United States of America.”
“And when you see those images,” he continued. “You see the KKK, and the KKK just brutalized, raped, lynched, pillaged many African-Americans not just throughout the south but across the country.”
“I think that many times white people do not understand what blackface means,” he explained. “When you have your son going out in blackface for a costume or your son goes to prep school or elite day schools and they dress up in blackface, basically it means you’re calling me n***er.”
“The reason why I say that is because blackface goes back to the mid-19th century where people were dressing up showing them to be lazy, to be ignorant, hypersexual and to be all-out disrespectful to our culture.”
“So when I see images like this, it harkens on the fact we have a serious issue with racism in this country. But governor Northam, even as a Democrat, doesn’t understand his own actions. And it’s very traumatizing when we sit here and critique it, because I’m like can people just not be racist”
That is why people are calling for Northam to resign.
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