I have lived in Virginia the entirety of my life, except for military service in Korea and attending law school at Howard University in Washington, D.C. It pains me to read or hear people of Virginia now being described as hidebound to the past.
As a child and as a man, I have lived in the segregated neighborhoods, attended the segregated schools, serviced at the segregated medical facilities, athletic fields, playgrounds, swimming pools, churches, libraries, transportation, bar associations, courtrooms, places of public accommodations–restaurants, stores, etc. at a time described as “when hope unborn was dead.”
I have likewise participated as an adult, with others, across racial and party lines, in bringing about change in those situations and am proud to claim my home state as a leader and setting an example for the nation.
I have called myself, in my book, and I DO proclaim to be a “Son of Virginia”.
And in that regard, Virginia will not go back on those levels of progress … to show you how people soon forget, I was elected Lieutenant Governor and Governor, and Barack Obama carried Virginia twice. No other southern state can make those claims.
Virginia has always led and we will continue to lead, just look at our history.
We will get past this moment of upheaval, in the Commonwealth, as we have overcome far more, together.