Ralph Northam says blackface scandal has taught him why ‘blackface is so offensive’
Gov. Ralph Northam (CBS News)

Embattled Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam says he has learned why blackface is offensive, after he admitted to darkening his face decades ago as part of a Michael Jackson costume.

The Virginia Democrat spoke with CBS News about a racism scandal that's engulfing his nascent administration, and said he had learned much about white privilege and race since the scandal erupted.

“Well, several things, starting with I was born in white privilege and that has implications to it," Northam told CBS News host Gayle King. "It is much different the way a white person such as myself is treated in this country versus --”

King interrupted to ask whether Northam had realized before the scandal that he had been born into white privilege.

“I knew I was, Miss King," Northam said, "but I didn’t realize really the powerful implications of that, and again talking to a lot of friends that has come crystal clear to me this week. I have also learned why the use of blackface is so offensive and, yes, I knew it in the past.”