(Matt Demlein, WRVA)

VUU Holds Event Sans Northam

Governor Honors Request From Students Not To Show

February 21, 2019 - 3:20 pm

Richmond, Va. (Newsradiowrva.com) - Virginia Union University held its "Faith, Identity, and Social Justice" event, commemerating the Richmond 34 Thursday, but without Governor Ralph Northam (D) present.  Northam withdrew from the event on Wednesday, honoring the wishes of the Student Government Association, who felt Northam would draw focus away from those who fought segregation in 1960.

Many VUU students agreed with Northam's decision to stay away.  They also asked that he come back at another time, perhaps unannounced, so they can hold a conversation on race with him.  At least one said the African-American student body, and community at large, deserves an apology.

Northam has been seen only rarely since it was revealed that he had a racist photo on his 1984 Eastern Virginia Medical School yearbook page.  Northam has also admitted to having worn blackface to imitate Michael Jackson in the 1980s.