Blackface Or KKK: Virginia Governor Admits To Appearing In Racist Yearbook Photo
However, Ralph Northam didn’t say which costume he was wearing in the photo.
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam has apologized for appearing in a racist medical school yearbook photo that surfaced Friday.
The offensive image, which comes from the 1984 Eastern Virginia Medical School yearbook, shows two men with one of them dressed in blackface while the other is in a Ku Klux Klan robe.
“Earlier today, a website published a photograph of me from my 1984 medical school yearbook in a costume that is clearly racist and offensive,” Northam, said in a statement via NBC News. “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.”
STATEMENT FROM NORTHAM APOLOGIZING FOR YEARBOOK pic.twitter.com/NB646Gkh4m
— Mike Valerio (@MikevWUSA) February 1, 2019
“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,” he continued.
“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.”
Although Northam, who is a Democrat, admitted to appearing in the photo, he didn’t confirm which costume he was actually in. As NBC notes, the photo was first reported by Big League Politics, a far-right website that often promotes conspiracy theories.
Since the release of the photo, people have called for Northam’s resignation, including Republican Party of Virginia chairman Jack Wilson.
“Racism has no place in Virginia,” Wilson said in a statement. “These pictures are wholly inappropriate. If Governor Northam appeared in blackface or dressed in a KKK robe, he should resign immediately.”
Source: NBC News