Another protest formed to promote the immediate resignation of embattled Governor Ralph Northam (D) has been scheduled for this Saturday. For the past two weeks, Northam has dealt with the fallout from a photo being released depicting the governor dressed either in blackface or in a Ku Klux Klan robe and hood in his 1984 Eastern Virginia Medical School yearbook.
Although he first confirmed that it was him dressed in racist garb, Northam backpedaled the day following at a press conference, saying it was not him in the photo. The governor then told a crowd of reporters that he did appear in blackface that year in San Antonio, Texas, at a Michael Jackson dance contest, per his remarks.
Since the press conference – which led Northam to attempt to show off his moonwalking skills in front of stunned reporters and his wife, Pam, urging him not to – the governor has embarked on a series of interviews and appearances to rehabilitate his image, dodging widespread calls for his resignation and protests in front of the Executive Mansion in downtown Richmond.
The first stop on his “reconciliation tour” set for this Thursday at Virginia Union University, however, was cancelled due to widespread student backlash.
On Saturday, February 23, concerned citizens will gather on the steps of the Capitol Building at 1000 Bank Street in Richmond to continuing calling for Governor Northam to step down from office.
According to the Facebook event “March on the Mansion,” the rally, hosted by the Douglass Leadership Institute, is being organized for the purpose of “[c]alling for an end to racism, and infanticide and a return to values of Dr. Martin Luther King and Frederick Douglass.”
Just days before the racial scandal began, Governor Northam doubled down on his support for Delegate Kathy Tran’s (D-Fairfax) sweeping late-term abortion bill. The legislation would repeal restrictions on third trimester abortions, allowing abortion doctors to self-certify the necessity of late-term procedures, eliminate informed consent requirements, repeal abortion clinic health and safety standards, permit late-term abortions to be performed in outpatient clinics, remove ultrasound requirements, and eliminate Virginia’s 24-hour waiting period.
During an address on WTOP’s “Ask The Governor” segment, Northam commented on a situation that the bill would influence.
“If a mother is in labor, I can tell you exactly what would happen,” he said. “The infant would be delivered. The infant would be kept comfortable. The infant would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desired, and then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother.”
Conservatives across the Commonwealth and the nation at-large quickly condemned Northam’s rhetoric, charging that he “supports infanticide.” The Virginia governor’s comments even got a mention during President Donald Trump‘s “State of the Union” address earlier this month, with the commander in chief charging lawmakers “to pass legislation to prohibit the late-term abortion of children who can feel pain in the mother’s womb.”
Currently listed to speak at the “March on the Mansion” are Reverend Dean Nelson, chairman of both the Douglass Leadership Institute and Frederick Douglass Foundation, as well as Reverend William Keen, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference’s Virginia president.
Thus far, 405 people have indicated their interest in attending the event, which will run from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Buses are said to be available for passengers in the Suffolk, Portsmouth, Chesapeake, Hampton, Newport News, Danville, Pittsylvania County, and Halifax County areas.