Calls for the resignation of Virginia Governor Ralph Northam (D) are coming fast after a photo was released Friday depicting him dressed either in “blackface” or in a Ku Klux Klan uniform in his medical college yearbook. Shortly after the photo went viral, Governor Northam confirmed that it was him depicted, but would not say which one.
The Virginian-Pilot reported the photo yesterday afternoon from the 1984 Eastern Virginia Medical School yearbook.
In the hours following, the governor released a statement:
“Earlier today, a website published a photograph of me from my 1984 medical school yearbook in a costume that is clearly racist and offensive. I am deeply sorry for the decision I made to appear as I did in this photo and for the hurt that decision caused then and now. This behavior is not in keeping with who I am today and the values I have fought for throughout my career in the military, in medicine, and in public service. But I want to be clear, I understand how this decision shakes Virginians’ faith in that commitment. I recognize that it will take time and serious effort to heal the damage this conduct has caused. I am ready to do that important work. The first step is to offer my sincerest apology and to state my absolute commitment to living up to the expectations Virginians set for me when they elected me to be their Governor.”
NBC 12 reports that RVA Dirt has planned a protest at the Governor’s Mansion this morning following the governor’s admission that he was in a yearbook photo depicting two men in both blackface and the KKK uniform. Organizers posted their plans for the event and said they will be there at 10 a.m. either protesting Northam or celebrating the potential new governor if resignation comes – Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax (D).
Northam, however, reaffirmed last night that he was committed to the rest of his term.
Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney (D) has also joined a growing number of Democratic and Republican elected officials calling for Northam resignation.