The answer is yes, yes he did. Just before the Legislative session ended in the Senate, Fairfax compared how the public has reacted to his sexual assault allegations to that of Jim Crow-era victims of lynching.
In one of Fairfax’s first public statements on the allegations of sexual abuse against now two women, he left the Chamber speechless.
“If we allow for political lynchings without any due process, any facts, any evidence being heard, then I think we do a disservice to this body in which we all serve.”
“Should anyone decide that they desire to see a downfall of me or the constitution or of victims or of anyone else, I would just ask that you look and reflect and think about who you are, think about who we are and think about who we want to be.”
“I’ve heard much about anti-lynching on the floor of this very Senate, where people were not given any due process whatsoever, and we rue that,” Fairfax said, in reference to legislation the General Assembly passed expressing their “profound regret” for 1877-1950 lynchings in Virginia.
“And we talk about hundreds, at least 100 terror lynchings that have happened in the Commonwealth of Virginia under those very same auspices. And yet we stand here in a rush to judgment with nothing but accusations and no facts and we decide that we are willing to do the same thing,” Fairfax continued.
When Fairfax finished his five-minute speech, you could hear a pin drop. No one clapped.
Fairfax, as well as the two women who have accused him of sexual assault are African American.
Meredith Watson has publicly accused Fairfax of raping her 19 years ago while both attended Duke University. Vanessa Tyson also accused Fairfax earlier this month of forcing her to perform oral sex on him at the Democratic National Convention in Boston in 2004 in a hotel room.
While House Republicans announced on Friday their plans to have Watson, Tyson and Fairfax all testify by holding a public hearing, Fairfax indicates he will not participate in the hearing and feels the accusations should be investigated by law enforcement, according to the Associated Press.
While some found Fairfax’s comments regarding lynchings as inappropriate, black lawmakers had no objection.
Republican House Majority Leader Del. Todd Gilbert stated, “That is the worst, most disgusting type of rhetoric he could have invoked. It’s entirely appropriate for him to talk about due process and we would intend to offer him every ounce of it, and he’s welcome to take advantage of that anytime he would like.”
Where as Sen. Mamie Locke found no issue with Fairfax’s five minute speech, “He said what he needed to say.”
The Virginia Legislative Black Caucus Chairman Del. Lamont Bagby said that many of his constituents believe Fairfax is being treated unfairly, solely because of the color of his skin.