Virginia governor apologizes for racist imagery in med school yearbook

Hugh Fox
February 6, 2019

United States president Donald Trump has weighed in on the racist photo that appeared in the medical college yearbook of Virginia governor Ralph Northam. The photo appears with others I submitted, on a page with my name on it.

A political death watch took shape at Virginia's Capitol as Gov. Ralph Northam consulted with top administration officials Monday about whether to resign amid a furor over a racist photo in his 1984 yearbook. "No one should've been making fun [of] another race or trying to make a joke out of people's fears of the Ku Klux Klan or the blackface". The outlets said they had been unable to substantiate her claim. Security guards joked about who was going to be the next governor.

So far, Northam has maintained that he will not step down, but according to ABC7 News, the Governor called an "urgent" top-level meeting Sunday night.

Moran told ABC's "This Week" that Northam's record - including his support of Medicaid expansion and of public schools in minority neighborhoods - shows that the embattled governor is a friend of African-Americans and that he should ride out the storm.

"These images arouse centuries of anger, anguish, and racist violence and they've eroded all confidence in Gov. Northam's ability to lead".

The defense is "Oh, so, I didn't engage in blackface here, but there was another time that wasn't pictured, so that means I can stay" or something.

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The waiting game played out on what was already one of the legislature's busiest days of the session, with the House and Senate each seeking to complete legislation to send to the other chamber.

Former Virginia Gov. Douglas Wilder, the first African American to serve as a United States governor since Reconstruction and the first elected African-American governor, tweeted after the press conference that "I stated, earlier, that Gov. Northam's continuing in office was his choice to make". Northam's office is in the middle of negotiations with GOP lawmakers over a major tax overhaul and changes to the state budget. "Many of us have had issues in the past", Johnson said.

Mr Northam admitted on Friday he was in the picture but the following day denied he was either of the two figures.

He did however voluntarily discuss an instance in the same time period in which, he said, he wore shoe polish on his face while winning a dance contest in San Antonio, Texas, dressed as Michael Jackson. Governor Northam should resign.

Both of Virginia's USA senators, Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, joined the dean of Virginia's congressional delegation, Rep. Bobby Scott, in saying in a statement Saturday night that they no longer believe Northam can effectively serve as governor.

Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax is denying an uncorroborated allegation of sexual misconduct first reported by a conservative website. "Ralph will to the right thing for the Commonwealth of Virginia".

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"Obviously on impeachment, that's a very high standard", Speaker Kirk Cox said. "We all love the governor", the source in the room told CNN. Voters for Northam often described him as "decent" and "honest".

Asked if he was preparing to possibly assume office as governor, Fairfax replied, "There is a lot of uncertainty right now in our government. It is unfortunate. It really is, but it's sadly a part of our politics now".

"He betrayed us", she told The Associated Press on Saturday. The Washington Post said Monday that it was approached by the woman in 2017 and carefully investigated but never published a story for lack of any independent evidence.

Northam did get support from former Virginia Representative Jim Moran, who said there's a risk of rushing to judgment before all the facts are known and that redemption should be considered.

Late last month, Florida's secretary of state resigned after photos surfaced of him in blackface as a Hurricane Katrina victim at a 2005 Halloween party.

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