Virginia state Sen. Tommy Norment was once the managing editor of a yearbook chock-full of racial slurs and images depicting blackface, according to a report by The Virginian-Pilot.
Norment, the Republican majority leader of the state Senate, oversaw the Virginia Military Institute’s yearbook in 1968, the news outlet reports. In that yearbook, students appear dressed in blackface in several photos, and racial slurs are used regularly. In one instance, a student from Bangkok, Thailand, is called a “Jap” and a “Chink.” A caption under another unidentified man’s photo reads: “He was known as the ‘Barracks Jew’ having his fingers in the finances of the entire Corps.”
The VMI yearbook, called “The Bomb,” has been published continuously since 1897. You can see the whole yearbook here.
When a Virginian-Pilot reporter confronted Norment about the yearbook on Thursday, he reportedly said, “The only thing I’m talking about today is the budget.”
On Wednesday, when HuffPost’s Daniel Marans asked if Norment had ever appeared in blackface, a spokesman responded that he has a policy of not talking to HuffPost.
Norment is now the fourth Virginia political figure in the past week to face his own scandal and the third whose controversy involved the use of blackface.
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) ― who himself graduated from VMI in 1981 ― faced bipartisan calls for his resignation after the news broke that his medical school yearbook page included a photo of one person in blackface and another in Ku Klux Klan garb. Northam denied that he was either person but admitted to wearing blackface on another occasion.
On Wednesday, Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring (D) admitted that he once wore blackface, when he dressed up as a rapper for a party decades ago.
Meanwhile, Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax (D) has been accused of forcing a woman to perform oral sex in 2004.