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Four Staffers Working for Justin Fairfax Resign Amid Sexual Assault Allegations

Loyalties fade amid growing allegations against Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax.

In the wake of allegations of sexual assault and rape against Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, four of his staffers have resigned.

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Despite calls for his resignation, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) remains in office, following the revelation of a photo on his medical school yearbook page of a man in blackface and another man dressed in a KKK costume. In less than a week, another Virginia official is coming forward to say he wore blackface, too.

Virginia Attorney General Mark R. Herring released a statement on Wednesday morning, apologizing for wearing blackface in college.

"In 1980, when I was a 19-year-old undergraduate in college, some friends suggested we attend a party dressed like rappers we listened to at the time, like Kurtis Blow, and perform a song," Herring wrote in a statement.

"It sounds ridiculous even now writing it. But, because of our ignorance and glib attitudes – and because we did not have an appreciation for the experiences and perspectives of others – we dressed up and put on wigs and brown makeup."

"That I have contributed to the pain Virginians have felt this week is the greatest shame I have ever felt," Herring added. "In the days ahead, honest conversations and discussions will make it clear whether I can or should continue to serve as attorney general, but no matter where we go from here, I will say that from the bottom of my heart, I am deeply, deeply sorry for the pain that I cause with this revelation."

Northam's yearbook photo was revealed on Friday and Herring is actually one of the many officials, including the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus, both of Virginia's U.S. Senators and the Democratic caucuses in both the Virginia House of Delegates and State, who've said the governor should resign.

It seems Herring decided to bring any past issues to the forefront, rather than have them revealed.

"The fact that Governor Northam did not reveal these flaws to the public and apologize for them years ago makes it impossible to trust him now," DiversityInc CEO Luke Visconti wrote in his latest column.

"I'd imagine he must have spent some sleepless nights knowing that it was just a matter of time before this blew up."

On Friday, Northam apologized for appearing in the picture. But, on Saturday, he said he was not one of the people in the photo.

He acknowledged that he wore blackface at another time when he dressed up as pop superstar Michael Jackson.

Related Story: Bakari Sellers Definitively Explains Why Blackface is Racist

Bakari Sellers represented South Carolina's 90th district in the lower house of the state legislature, from 2006 to 2014, becoming the youngest Black politician in the country at age 22.

"I think that many times white people do not understand what blackface means," Sellers explained on CNN. "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."

The person who would be taking office if Northam resigns, Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, is continuing to face questions over an alleged sexual misconduct incident at the Democratic National Convention in 2004. Fairfax has vehemently denied the allegations.

However, if both Fairfax and Northam were to resign, Herring would be next in line.

Ask the CEO: Why Governor Northam Has to Go

Not dealing with the past is a greater threat than the results of the past.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam

I am the same age as Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam. As he was selecting pictures for his medical school yearbook page, I was flying helicopters for the United States Navy.

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First Openly Transgender Person to Serve in State Legislature after Defeating 'Chief Homophobe'

Danica Roem, a Democrat of Virginia, has taken the seat from self-proclaimed "chief homophobe" Bob Marshall, who has sat on the legislature since 1992.

Danica Roem / REUTERS

Danica Roem made Virginia history last night when she became the state's first openly transgender person to be elected to the state's legislature.

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'Charlottesville 3.0': White Nationalists Rally Again

The city is working to prevent future demonstrations from white supremacists.

REUTERS

Another series of protests by white nationalists took place in Charlottesville, Va., over the weekend.

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Congress Demands White House Officially Condemn White Supremacy

Legislation calls for President Trump to reject white supremacists, the KKK and neo-Nazis.

REUTERS

Congress has officially called on President Donald Trump to take an unequivocal stance against neo-Nazis, white supremacists, the Ku Klux Klan and hate groups.

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Lawmakers Call on White House to Postpone HBCU Conference After Trump's Charlottesville Response

"They brought all those HBCUs to town. They took a picture in the Oval Office and then they did nothing," said Rep. Cedric Richmond, chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus.

President Donald Trump welcomes the leaders of dozens of historically black colleges and universities (HBCU) in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, Feb. 27, 2017. / REUTERS

The White House has no plans to reschedule its conference for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) scheduled for next month, despite calls from lawmakers and other leaders to postpone the event.

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Who's Left on Trump's Business Councils?

Which CEOs have — and have not — responded to President Trump's handling of Charlottesville?

Doug McMillon, Walmart CEO / REUTERS

During a critical time for business leaders, CEOs and other company leaders have faced decisions. Some chose to remove themselves from White House business councils after President Donald Trump did not immediately disavow white supremacy after violent protests in Charlottesville, Va., left one counter-protester dead and many others injured.

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Republicans Seek to Criminalize, Deter Peaceful Protesting

Lawmakers in eight states are proposing laws to intimidate protesters, including protecting motorists who "unintentionally" run them over.

Kona Burton, age 5, Maile Burton, age 7, and Keilani Burton, 9, (L-R) from Midway, Utah, hold their signs during a protest against new U.S. President Donald Trump during the Sundance Film Festival, in solidarity with the Women's March protests being held around the world, in Park City, Utah, January 21, 2017. / REUTERS

Republicans in eight states have proposed bills that would criminalize peaceful protesting — a right that is guaranteed by the First Amendment.

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VIDEO: Find Out What It's Like to Work at Altria

Altria, in Richmond, Va., is a leader in corporate responsibility and community investment.

Altria (a DiversityInc Noteworthy Company), in Richmond, Va., is a leader in corporate responsibility and community investment. Along with giving back to its hometown, Altria supports its people with great benefits, flexibility and mobility to create the perfect place to launch or grow a career.

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Millions of Voters to be Shut out of the 2016 Election

Restrictive laws in numerous states make it nearly impossible for felons to have their rights restored even years after completing their prison sentences.

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D). REUTERS

Nearly six million people will be barred from voting in elections this November due to having felony convictions on their records.

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Scholastic Shelves 'Smiling Slaves' Picture Book

Under pressure, the publishing giant ditches published children's book about George Washington's enslaved cook.

By Sheryl Estrada

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