CBS “This Morning” anchor Gayle King pressed Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam to explain why he wore blackface in the 1980s and how he didn’t know that it was offensive during an interview that aired Monday morning.
“What have you learned that you didn’t know before?” King asked.
“Well several things,” he responded. “Starting with I was born in white privilege and that has implications to it. It is much different the way a white person such as myself is — is treated in this country versus–”
“Did you not know that you were born into white privilege?” King said.
“I knew I was, Ms. King, but I didn’t realize really the powerful implications of that,” he said. “And again talking to a lot of friends that has come crystal clear to me this week. I have also learned why the use of blackface is so offensive, and yes I knew it in the past. But reality has really set in.”
Throughout the interview, King pressed Northam, a Democrat, on how it was possible that he didn’t know that blackface was offensive when he was in college.
When asked if he had black friends growing up, Northam said he attended unsegregated schools since sixth grade.
“Which makes it even harder for us to understand, you had black friends or grew up with black people, so it would seem you would be more sensitive or more aware of that,” she said.
“I don’t have any excuses for what I did in my early life,” he said.
.@GovernorVA @RalphNortham says he’s “not going anywhere.” He plans to stay in office, in spite of a racist photo printed in his medical school yearbook.@gayleking sat down with the Democratic governor who still faces calls to resign: https://t.co/jcCcmmkENi pic.twitter.com/B6ORmlihhv
— CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) February 11, 2019