Tommy Norment, the senate majority leader, edited his yearbook in 1968. It has people in blackface.
A top Virginia Republican has joined a growing list of Democrats under fire for past racially insensitive photos and costumes.
Virginia Senate Majority Leader Tommy Norment was the managing editor of Virginia Military Institute’s 1968 yearbook, which includes photos of students wearing blackface and people holding Confederate flags. Racial slurs like the N-word were published in addition to Asian slurs used to identify a student from Thailand.
In a statement he released Thursday, Norment did not take responsibility for any of the racist content.
“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,” Norment said. “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.” Photos on pages 82 and 122 each depict a person in blackface.
Norment is the first Virginia Republican to be touched by an ever widening scandal about past displays of racism that has engulfed the state’s top Democrats.