Do All Black People Look Alike? Virginia Governor Mixed Up Two Black Legislators and Lauded the Wrong One for Black History Month

State Sens. Louise Lucas, D-Portsmouth, left, and Mamie Locke, D-Hampton

Virginia governor Glenn Youngkin mistook one Black legislator for another when he complimented the wrong one for a speech for Black History Month.

Democratic state senator Louise Lucas revealed on Twitter that Republican Youngkin texted her to congratulate her for the floor speech, but it was actually delivered by another state senator, Mamie Locke.

Lucas tweeted out side-by-side portraits of herself and Locke, and encouraged the governor to “study the photos.”

Gov. Glenn Youngkin of Virginia. AP Photo/Steve Helber, File

© AP Photo/Steve Helber, FileGov. Glenn Youngkin of Virginia. AP Photo/Steve Helber, File

The state senator told The Washington Post that Youngkin texted her to say he was “moved” by her floor speech discussing Black History Month.

Lucas replied: “Governor Youngkin, thanks for the compliment about the Black History Month floor speech but, it was given by Senator Locke. You are correct it was a moving speech. I hope to be enlightening when I speak later this week. Louise.”

“Goodness … so sorry about the confusion,” Youngkin wrote in response. “I will send her a note. Thanks for the note back!”


In a statement issued on Friday, cited by The Post, Youngkin explained that he had been multitasking while watching the speech remotely, which caused the mix-up.

“I had the floor speeches on while doing too many things at once earlier this week. I made a mistake and I apologized to Senator Lucas right away,” the statement said.

Lucas said that she had initially planned to keep Youngkin’s gaffe private, but decided to reveal it publicly after a dispute over a Republican Cabinet pick, Andrew Wheeler as secretary of natural and historic resources.

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