Kurtis Blow wants a meeting with Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring who admitted to wearing blackface to a party, but claims that he wanted to look like the hip-hop pioneer.
Herring made the confession four days after calling for the resignation of the state’s governor, Ralph Northam, after his own blackface story came to light.
Blow responded to Herring’s “disgraceful” act in an interview with the New York Daily News where the 59-year-old minister revealed that he’d like to speak with Herring.
“I would love to talk to him and pray for him,” Blow said Thursday (Feb. 7). “I just would love to ask, ‘What were you thinking?’ How could he call for the resignation, knowing he had the same situation in his own past? He had the same skeleton in his own closet.”
The Harlem native whose single “The Breaks” became hip-hop’s first gold record, was shocked by Herring’s admission but added, “We all do stupid things when we’re young.”
“This was done so long ago with Mark Herring, but there are many different ways to pay tribute to someone if you really like their music or style,” he continued.
As an ordained minister, Blow said that he’s called to face situations that others would “run” from.
“We have kids out there still doing blackface today. We need to concentrate more on our commonalities,” he said.
“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,” Blow told the NYDN. “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.”
Herring explained in an apology statement Wednesday (Feb. 5) that he wore blackface to a party in 1980 at the suggestion of friends. The goal was to “dress like rappers we listened to at the time, like Kurtis Blow, and person a song,” he asserted.
Northam, meanwhile, ignored calls to resign after a racist photo of him was unearthed by the Virginia Pilot last week. The 1984 photo from his medical school yearbook shows one person in blackface, and another dressed in a KKK robe and hood. Northam initially admitted that he was in the photo, only to flip his script the following day. In yet another bizarre chapter, Northam held a press conference to explain how he wore blackface to look like Michael Jackson. He also contemplated breaking into the moonwalk, but his wife stopped him.
If the Democratic governor decides to step down, the state may have trouble finding an immediate replacement. Northam intended replacement, Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, is accused of sexually assaulting a woman in 2004, which he denies. Herring would then be next in line to take Northam’s place.