Feb 6, 2019

Virginia attorney general admits he wore blackface at 1980 college party

Photo: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call via Getty Images

Virginia's Democratic Attorney General Mark Herring said in a statement Wednesday that he wore blackface at a college party in 1980, amid a deepening scandal in Richmond after the discovery last week of a racist photo on Gov. Ralph Northam's medical school yearbook page and his subsequent admission that he wore blackface in 1984.

Why it matters: Herring is next in line of succession to become the state's governor after Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, who is facing allegations of a 2004 sexual assault, which he has denied. In his statement, Herring did not offer to immediately resign but said that "honest conversations and discussions" would take place in "the days ahead." Herring said on Saturday that it was "no longer possible" for Northam to serve as governor after his blackface admission. Also on Wednesday, he resigned as the co-chairman of the Democratic Attorneys General Association.

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Trump gets "woke" in 15-city campaign to court black voters

The Trump campaign is leaning into its effort to woo African American voters, opening "Black Voices for Trump" offices across six swing states, the campaign says.

Why it matters: "Woke" stickers, "Black Voices for Trump" T-shirts and other branded swag are part of this storefront approach as the campaign ramps up its efforts to erode Democrats' lock on this key demographic.

House passes bill to make lynching a federal hate crime

Photo: Aaron P. Bauer-Griffin/GC Images via Getty Images

The House voted 410-4 on Wednesday to pass legislation to designate lynching as a federal hate crime.

Why it matters: Congress has tried and failed for over 100 years to pass measures to make lynching a federal crime.

This year's census may be the toughest count yet

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Community leaders are concerned that historically hard-to-count residents will be even harder to count in this year's census, thanks to technological hurdles and increased distrust in government.

Why it matters: The census — which will count more than 330 million people this year — determines how $1.5 trillion in federal funding gets allocated across state and local governments. Inaccurate counts mean that communities don't get their fair share of those dollars.