Virginia Governor Ralph Northam, who has been unapologetic over comments advocating late-term abortion and infanticide, on Friday issued an apology over a photo from his 1984 medical school yearbook.
The photo shows a man wearing blackface next to another person in a Ku Klux Klan white hood.
A quote on the page reads, “There are more old drunks than old doctors in this world so I think I’ll have another beer.”
The image was first released Friday by the website Big League Politics. The Washington Post later wrote that it had authenticated the image, but said it’s unclear which person in the photo is Northam.
Virginia Gov. Northam confirms that he’s in ‘racist and offensive’ photo in 1984 yearbook, says he’s ‘deeply sorry’ https://t.co/mOVGnAvWGO
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) February 1, 2019
“Earlier today, a website published a photograph of me from my 1984 medical school yearbook in a costume that is clearly racist and offensive,” a statement from Northam said.
“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,” he continued. “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.”
Northam was roundly condemned for the photo.
— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) February 1, 2019
Please read our statement on today’s report in The Virginian-Pilot on the grotesque racism and bigotry on display on Gov. Northam’s medical school yearbook page. https://t.co/GSaU25Uptb pic.twitter.com/ZizOnJvItx
— New Virginia Majority (@NewVAMajority) February 1, 2019
Last wk, @GovRonDeSantis rightly so, made his newly-appointed Sec of State resign after a pic of the guy in blackface became public. This photo of Gov. Northam depicts inexcusable racism, insensitivity & stupidity. There’s no denying or explaining it. https://t.co/KZZdIucqrp
— Ana Navarro (@ananavarro) February 1, 2019
This should be easier work than parsing every word and semicolon in the Kavanaugh yearbook. https://t.co/3VA6Ct1NIn
— Kellyanne Conway (@KellyannePolls) February 1, 2019
Jack Wilson, chairman of Virginia’s Republican Party called on Northam to step down.
“Racism has no place in Virginia,” Wilson said in a statement. “These pictures are wholly inappropriate. If Gov. Northam appeared in blackface or dressed in a KKK robe, he should resign immediately.”
The controversy follows one in which Northam became enmeshed after comments he made in support of a Virginia bill that would allow access to late-term abortion. Those comments led conservatives to claim Northam’s comments amounted to support for infanticide.
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