In a Tuesday night debate for the Virginia governorship, gubernatorial candidate lieutenant governor, Justin Fairfax, a Black man, accused his competitor Terry McAuliffe, of treating him “like George Floyd and Emmett Till” following accusations of sexual assault leveled against Fairfax by two women in 2019.
McAuliffe, a White former governor of Virginia, called for Fairfax’s resignation following the 2019 allegations.
Fairfax’s comments were the most pointed attempt by the three Black candidates running against McAuliffe to draw a racial distinction between the contenders running to fill the governorship.
“Everyone on that stage called for my immediate resignation, including Terry McAuliffe three minutes after a press release came out,” Fairfax said during the Tuesday evening debate. “He treated me like George Floyd. He treated me like Emmett Till. No due process. Immediately assumed my guilt.”
Fairfax’s comments were in response to a question regarding the future of law enforcement in Virginia.
Critics on social media pointed out that Fairfax, unlike Floyd and Till, is still alive and was not physically assaulted by the then governor.
Floyd died in May 2020 after a then-Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin, knelt on his neck for nine minutes.
Till was a Black 14-year old boy who was lynched in 1955 in Mississippi for allegedly insulting a White woman.
McAuliffe did not respond to Fairfax’s allegations Tuesday night, and Fox News could not immediately reach his campaign for comment.
Fairfax was accused in 2019 of raping Meredith Watson, a fellow Duke University classmate of his in 2000. Watson’s accusation came just days after a California political science professor, Vanessa Tyson, alleged Fairfax assaulted her during the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston.
Fairfax told The Associated Press in September the allegations were a politically motivated smear campaign.
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