Virginia Governor Ralph Northam Sorry for a Racist Yearbook Photo
“I am deeply sorry for the decision I made to appear as I did in this picture and for the harm, that conclusion caused then and now,” he said in a statement. Black politicians in Virginia known as the image “disgusting” and Republicans advocated the Democrat to resign. The film showed a man in yet another man and blackface in Ku Klux Klan robes.
Northam — that was under fire this week for remarks made about a third-trimester abortion bill admitted in the picture, though it’s not apparent which costume he is wearing.
“This behavior isn’t in keeping with that I am today and the values I’ve fought for during my career in the army, in medicine, and in public service. But I want to be clear, I understand this decision shakes Virginians’ faith in that commitment,” the governor said in a statement after the image was made public.
BREAKING: Gov. Ralph Northam yearbook page shows blackface and Klan photohttps://t.co/6A89ejp5Ho
— The Virginian-Pilot (@virginianpilot) February 1, 2019
He continued: “I recognize it will take time and serious effort to cure the harm this behavior has caused. I am ready to do this work. The very first step would be to offer my sincerest apology and to say my absolute dedication to living up to the expectations Virginians set for me when they picked me to be their governor.”
Mr. Northam later released a video statement via Twitter where he stated that he was “deeply sorry” to the crime the image had caused. “I take responsibility for my past activities and I am ready to do the challenging job of regaining your confidence,” he said. Site Big League Politics, first published the yearbook page, which came in the neurologist’s time in Eastern Virginia Medical School. He had graduated from Virginia Military Institute.
The newspaper tweeted a picture of the page which it said it got from the school library. An official from the medical school verified the photograph and told that the Huffington Post it arrived from a “student-produced publication”.
What’s the response?
The Virginia Legislative Black Caucus, that includes African Americans elected to the Virginia General Assembly, said that it was “still processing what we have observed about the governor” but described the pictures as “disgusting, reprehensible and offensive”. “These pictures rip off the scabs of excruciatingly painful history and therefore are a piercing reminder of this nation’s sins. Those who would excuse the pictures are only as culpable,” it said in a statement.
The photo prompted a swift backlash from conservatives, including Jack Wilson, the chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia, who telephoned Mr. Northam to resign. “Racism has no place in Virginia,” he said in a statement. “These images are wholly unsuitable. If Governor Northam appeared in blackface or dressed in a KKK robe, he should resign immediately.”
Calls for his resignation came from four Democratic candidates for president Senators Kirsten Gillibrand, Kamala Harris, and Cory Booker and Texan mayor Julian Castro.
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