NAACP head says US will remain divided until race is addressed

NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson told Hill.TV's "Rising" on Thursday that the U.S. will remain divided until it addresses the issue of race, amid revelations that Virginia's governor and attorney general wore blackface at parties in the past. 

"Is it OK to fly a swastika flag over a synagogue? Is it OK to tell women that you need to get back in the kitchens, take off your shoes, and just have babies? Is it OK to be the most offensive you can think of toward individuals who are also equal to you under this Constitution?" Johnson asked Hill.TV's Krystal Ball and Buck Sexton on "Rising." 

Johnson was referring to an Economist/YouGov poll conducted earlier this week that found that 58 percent of white respondents said wearing blackface was "unacceptable," while 16 percent said the practice was "acceptable." Twenty-six percent said they "were not sure." 

"It is not OK. It is not even something we should be polling," Johnson said. "It should be something we're moving beyond to say how do we address this question of race, and get past it." 

"Until we do that, we will be a divided nation, as we've been for a very long time," he said. 

Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring (D) admitted on Wednesday to wearing blackface as an undergraduate in college. Days earlier, Gov. Ralph Northam (D) began facing calls to resign after a photo from his medical school yearbook emerged showing a man in blackface standing next to a man in full Ku Klux Klan robe and hood.

— Julia Manchester