Home News The Virginia Scandals Spread – Inside Higher Ed

The Virginia Scandals Spread – Inside Higher Ed


Hundreds of political scientists back colleague who accused lieutenant governor; Duke removes him from an advisory board; new accusation made about Duke failing to respond to rape report; racist yearbook photos found at more institutions.

The scandals involving Virginia’s political leaders are attracting the involvement and attention of academics nationwide and setting off new debates over racist histories, sexual assault and more.

The furor started over the admission by Virginia governor Ralph Northam that he had worn blackface in the past. But as more reports of blackface and racist photographs linked to politicians’ college days surface, so have allegations that Virginia’s lieutenant governor, Justin Fairfax, committed sexual assault. One of his accusers is a professor at Scripps College, currently on a fellowship at Stanford University, who has been a prominent figure in academic discussions of sexual violence. A second woman has now come forward, saying that Fairfax raped her when they were both students at Duke University and that a Duke official did nothing when she reported this at the time.

Meanwhile, more colleges are confronting images of blackface and other forms of bigotry in yearbooks, many of them after colleges theoretically started to welcome black students.

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