The top Republican lawmakers in the Virginia state Senate served as managing editor of a 1968 yearbook at Virginia Military Institute that contained blackface photos and racist slurs, The Virginian Pilot reported Thursday.
Senate Majority Leader Tommy Norment (R) oversaw the 1968 edition of The Bomb, an annual publication at Virginia Military Institute.
The Pilot published photos from the yearbook that showed several individuals posing in blackface. The yearbook also contained racist slurs that referred to African Americans, Jews, and Asians, the Pilot reported.
The Pilot reports:
On one page of the yearbook, a student poses in blackface, surrounded by others in costumes at a party. Another page features a photo of two men in blackface holding a football.
The N-word is used at least once. A student listed as being from Bangkok, Thailand, is referred to as a “Chink” and “Jap.”
A blurb under one man’s picture says: “He was known as the ‘Barracks Jew’ having his fingers in the finances of the entire Corps.”
“The only thing I’m talking about today is the budget,” Norment, who has served in the state Senate since 1992, told a reporter when asked about the yearbook on Thursday.
Revelations about Norment’s involvement in the yearbook containing racist photos come as two of the state’s top three elected officials are embroiled in controversy over their admissions that they wore blackface decades ago.
Many Democratic lawmakers and the Virginia GOP have called for Gov. Ralph Northam to resign after a page from his 1984 medical school yearbook surfaced showing a photo of a man in blackface and KKK robe. Attorney General Mark Herring admitted this week to dressing in blackface during his time at University of Virginia.