Democratic Virginia Governor Ralph Northam has resisted calls for his resignation despite a fierce outcry over a racist photo that surfaced from his time in medical school.
The photos, which quickly went viral, were from Northam’s yearbook page depicting him and a fellow student — one in blackface and one wearing a KKK hood and robe.
BREAKING: Virginia's Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam's college yearbook page features blackface & Klu Klux Klan outfit.
Northam will be kept comfortable as we all decide if he is viable.
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) February 1, 2019
The photos surfaced as the eyes of the nation were on the former pediatric neurologist after he advocated what many consider to be infanticide.
Following the picture’s viral trip around the internet, Northam released an official statement both on his website and on Twitter.
In his statement from the Virginia governor’s official website, Northam admitted the costume was “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,” Northam said.
“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.”
My fellow Virginians, earlier today I released a statement apologizing for behavior in my past that falls far short of the standard you set for me when you elected me to be your governor. I believe you deserve to hear directly from me. pic.twitter.com/1rSw1oxfrX
— Ralph Northam (@GovernorVA) February 2, 2019
Northam’s most recent troubles have landed him on the black lists of both parties, leading to a tweet from Virginia Democrats calling for Northam’s immediate resignation.
“We made the decision to let Governor Northam do the correct thing and resign this morning – we have gotten word he will do so this morning,” the statement read, in part.
“We stand with Democrats across Virginia and the country calling him to immediately resign. He no longer has our confidence or our support.”
Full statement demanding that Governor Northam resign immediately. pic.twitter.com/XEf0H6HvOf
— Virginia Democrats (@vademocrats) February 2, 2019
Not surprisingly, the Virginia GOP has also called on Northam to resign, calling his actions “unforgivable.”
What Ralph Northam did was unforgivable. Given his statements on the right to life coupled with the most recent revelations, he has lost the moral authority to continue to govern and should resign immediately.
— Virginia GOP (@VA_GOP) February 1, 2019
The Virginia Legislative Black Caucus also tweeted a statement which called the recent revelations about Northam “disgusting, reprehensible and offensive.”
Official Virginia Legislative Black Caucus Statement pic.twitter.com/nfoziG1Ftd
— VLBC (@VaBlackCaucus) February 2, 2019
Former Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe also spoke out against his fellow Democrat.
“The situation that he has put himself and the Commonwealth of Virginia in is untenable,” McAuliffe said.
“It’s time for Ralph to step down, and for the Commonwealth to move forward,” the former governor continued, after calling the images “racist, unacceptable and inexcusable at any age and at any time.”
The situation that he has put himself and the Commonwealth of Virginia in is untenable. It's time for Ralph to step down, and for the Commonwealth to move forward.
— Terry McAuliffe (@TerryMcAuliffe) February 2, 2019
Virginia residents were joined by Democrats nationwide who called for Northam to resign, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and several 2020 presidential hopefuls, including Cory Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand and Kamala Harris.
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