Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam under fire for allegedly appearing in racist photo

NORFOLK, V.A. — Virginia Governor Ralph Northam is facing calls to resign after a photo surfaced from his 1984 medical school yearbook that allegedly shows him wearing a racist costume.

This image shows Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam’s page in his 1984 Eastern Virginia Medical School yearbook. The page shows a picture, at right, of a person in blackface and another wearing a Ku Klux Klan hood next to different pictures of the governor. It’s unclear who the people in the picture are, but the rest of the page is filled with pictures of Northam and lists his undergraduate alma mater and other information about him. (Eastern Virginia Medical School via AP)

Northam is a Democrat, Army veteran and pediatric neurosurgeon. He took office a year ago, running on a platform of tolerance and anti-hate.

“Virginia has told us to end the divisiveness, that we will not condone hatred and bigotry,” Northam said during his victory speech. “It’s going to take a doctor to heal our differences. And I’m here to tell you, the doctor is in!”

The photo first appeared on Friday afternoon on a far-right news outlet called Big League Politics that has been known to promote conspiracy theories.

Northam issued an apology on Friday, seeming to acknowledge that he was one of the people in the photograph, but not specifying which.

He then backpedaled on Saturday, reportedly telling at least one Virginia Democrat that he didn’t have any recollection of the costume and does not believe he’s in the photo.

Both Democrats and Republicans across the board are calling for Northam’s resignation, including many key Democratic 2020 candidates and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who tweeted this morning that the Governor needs to “do the right thing.”

Northam is scheduled to give a press conference addressing the matter at the governor’s mansion in Virginia at 2:30 p.m. ET/12:30 p.m. MT. KNBN will be covering the televised conference.




Categories: National News, Politics & Elections