On Wednesday, Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring admitted he posed in blackface as a student at the University of Virginia in the 1980s because he wanted to dress like a rapper. Now, the rapper who purportedly inspired the look wants to meet face-to-face with the politician.
In a phone interview with the New York Daily News, Kurtis Blow, whose 1980 hit single "The Breaks" became the first certified gold hip-hop track, revealed that he was shocked about AG Herring's admission.
Herring's revelation comes just days after the University of Richmond law graduate encouraged Virginia Governor Ralph Northam to resign after images of Northam during his medical school days appeared online of the Commonwealth governor also in blackface. So far, neither individual has indicated they will step down.
"It's just shocking that we still have blackface representing what this country or this society is really all about," Blow lamented.
Despite AG Herring apologizing for his wrongdoing, the artist believes a face-to-face conversation between him and the lawmaker should be organized to reach an amicable agreement. He told the outlet that blackface could be triggering.
"When you paint your face, that is the most egregious and disrespectful thing you can do considering what we've been through. It’s opening up some deep, historical scars."
An ordained minister since 2009, Blow said he's channeling his frustrations with Herring into prayer and expressed that the key to battling racism in today's society is love.
"Christ says we need to forgive in order to receive forgiveness. It’s going to take some love to conquer the hate and racism that is apparent still in our society." He continued: "Love is the key, love is the answer. It's the only way we’re going to get rid of racism, the only way to mend hearts that are hurting."
He mentioned that Herring's office had not approached him yet, but the 59-year-old welcomes the opportunity to "talk to him and pray for him."
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