Democratic Virginia governor Ralph Northam has recently received a high amount of negative attention. Northam first faced massive backlash over his comments supporting a late-term abortion bill, reported CNN. On Friday, February 1st, the governor also came under fire after a disturbing photo of him surfaced into the public eye.
The image, which was from Northam’s 1984 medical school yearbook, shows two men dressed in racist costumes — one dressed in a KKK outfit and the other wearing blackface. When the image was first released, Northam released an apology statement appearing to confirm that he was indeed one of the persons in the offensive photo, according to CNN.
"[I am 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 stated.
However, after both Democrats and Republicans called for the Virginia governor to resign, Northam held a press conference to respond to the outrage. Many thought Northam would step down, but he refused. During the conference, he also backtracked on his previous remarks noting that he does not think he is one of the people in either of the costumes.
“[The picture] was offensive, racist, and despicable...When I was confronted with the images yesterday, I was appalled that they appeared on my page, but I believe then and now that I am not either of the people in that photo,” the governor said.
He allegedly does not recall ever dressing up in these costumes for this picture. However, he did admit to using blackface to resemble Michael Jackson during a dance contest that same year.
Watch Northam’s response in the video clip below:
Despite his new statement, people are still pushing for Northam to resign. Some prominent political names that have publicly called for his resignation are DNC Chair Tom Perez and Republican Kevin McCarthy.
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