- In a televised debate, Virginia’s Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax likened himself to Emmett Till and George Floyd.
- He accused Gov. Terry McAuliffe of treating him like Floyd when sexual assault allegations surfaced.
- McAuliffe is leading the race in this year’s Democratic primary for Virginia governor.
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In a televised Democratic primary debate on Tuesday, Virginia’s Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax likened himself to George Floyd and Emmett Till, accusing former Gov. Terry McAuliffe of treating him like Floyd when sexual assault allegations against him surfaced.
“Everyone here on this stage called for my immediate resignation, including Terry McAuliffe, three minutes after a press release came out,” Fairfax said.
“He treated me like George Floyd, he treated me like Emmett Till, no due process, immediately assumed my guilt. I have a son and I have a daughter, and I don’t want my daughter to be assaulted, I don’t want my son to be falsely accused,” Fairfax continued.
In February 2019, Fairfax was accused by two women of sexual assault – allegations that he has continually denied.
Fairfax’s first accuser, Vanessa Tyson, said Fairfax forced her to give him oral sex at the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston. The second accuser, Meredith Watson, said that Fairfax raped her when they were both students at Duke University.
McAuliffe, who served as Virginia governor from 2014 to 2018, is leading the race in this year’s Democratic primary for Virginia governor, and Fairfax is among four rival Virginia Democrats angling to take the top spot from him. Northam cannot run for reelection because the Virginia constitution prohibits anyone from holding the position for two consecutive terms.
This Tuesday’s debate was not the first time that Fairfax has compared himself to victims of hate crimes. In response to the sexual assault allegations, Fairfax gave an impromptu speech in the state Senate that same month in 2019, comparing himself to victims of lynchings in Jim Crow-era Virginia.