Time to Trash Virginia Politicos and Start Over as Another Senator Was Editor of Yearbook Filled With Racist Images

State Sen. Tommy Norment, R-James City County, looks over rules of the Senate during debate on the new Senate rules at the start of the 2012 session of the Virginia Senate at the Capitol in Richmond, Va., Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2012.
Photo: Steve Helber (AP Images)

Either all of Virginia politicians need to resign or all of them need to collect all of the yearbooks from every school they ever attended and have a big ass bonfire to burn the evidence since all of them seem to be racist AF.

As a student at the Virginia Military Institute, State Senate Majority Leader Tommy Norment oversaw the 1968 yearbook, which included several photos of students in blackface, the N-word and a student listed as being from Bangkok, Thailand being referred to as a “Chink” and “Jap.”

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According to the Virginian-Pilot, “Norment, R-James City County, was managing editor of The Bomb publication that year.” News of Norment’s involvement with the racist publication described as a “yearbook” comes alongside Virginia’s Democratic governor and attorney facing calls for their resignation for...you guessed it, blackface photos.

From the Virginian-Pilot:

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.

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 Bomb has been published continuously since 1897. The first black students were allowed to enroll at the institute in the fall of 1968.

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On Thursday, a reporter asked Norment about the yearbook to which the majority leader said, “The only thing I’m talking about today is the budget.”

Hours later, Norment issued a statement calling the use of blackface “abhorrent.

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“The use of blackface is abhorrent in our society and I emphatically condemn it. As one of seven working on a 359-page yearbook, I cannot endorse or associate myself with every photo, entry, or word on each page. However, I am not in any of the photos referenced on pages 82 or 122, nor did I take any of the photos in question.

“As my comment on Page 236 notes, I supported the integration of VMI. And in 1997, I led the effort to have my alma mater include women for the first time,” the Pilot reports.

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As it stands Virginia lawmakers have their hands full considering Gov. Ralph Northam is facing calls for his resignation after a 1984 medical school yearbook surfaced people in blackface and KKK robe. Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, Northam’s successor, is battling accusations of sexual assault from a woman who claims that Fairfax forced her to perform oral sex during the 2004 Democratic National Convention and Attorney General Mark Herring, Fairfax’s successor, admitted this week to dressing in blackface during his time at University of Virginia.

In his statement Thursday, Norment added: “With 114 editions of The Bomb available online dating back to 1885, I am not surprised that those wanting to engulf Republican leaders in the current situations involving the Governor, Lt. Governor, and Attorney General would highlight the yearbook from my graduation a half century ago ... Despite all of the distractions from the continuing controversies involving our statewide elected officials, I am intent on fulfilling the work of the people of Virginia by passing a fiscally responsible budget that provides tax relief for working families.”

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Yeah, nah player, that different time bullshit isn’t really working here. It might be time to press Ctrl+Alt+Delete over all of Virginia politics.

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About the author

Stephen A. Crockett Jr.

Senior Editor @ The Root, boxes outside my weight class, when they go low, you go lower.