Northam of Virginia Must Resign, Says the NAACP
Democrat governor apologized on Saturday for a racist photo on his yearbook page but declared he won't leave his elected office
Update: Gov. Ralph Northam gave a press conference on Saturday afternoon and says he does not now believe he was either of the individuals in the yearbook photo (discussed below).
He said he is not going to resign but instead “is asking for the opportunity to earn your forgiveness.”
A long list of individuals and organizations are now calling for Democrat Gov. Ralph Northam of Virginia to resign from office after a page of his 1984 medical school yearbook shows him in a photo wearing either blackface or a white KKK robe and hat.
The governor admitted on Friday that he appeared in that photo and apologized for it — though he didn’t say which costume he was wearing.
The other man in the photo has not been identified as of yet.
Northam’s apology, however, doesn’t go far enough for many on both the Right and the Left.
BREAKING: VA Gov Northam refuses to resign…says he darkened his face as part of a Michael Jackson costume.
— Raymond Arroyo (@RaymondArroyo) February 2, 2019
Can someone explain this to the media? Dumb racist jokes are bad. Murdering newborn babies is worse. They don't seem to get it. https://t.co/0oeL2Vc7P8
— Herman Cain (@THEHermanCain) February 2, 2019
The governor had already been under fire earlier in the week for his comments related to third-trimester abortions and infanticide.
“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 on Friday.
“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.”
On Friday, NAACP leader Derrick Johnson weighed in on Twitter, saying, “Black face in any manner is always racist and never OK.”
He then said, “No matter the party affiliation, we cannot stand for such behavior, which is why the @NAACP is calling for the resignation of Virginia Governor @RalphNortham.”
Black face in any manner is always racist and never okay. No matter the party affiliation, we can not stand for such behavior, which is why the @NAACP is calling for the resignation of Virginia Governor @RalphNortham
— Derrick Johnson (@DerrickNAACP) February 2, 2019
A long list of other individuals on the Left are also calling for the governor to resign.
That includes 2020 presidential hopefuls Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), and Julian Castro of Texas, who previously worked in the Obama administration.
Even pro-abortion groups Planned Parenthood and the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws (NARAL) are calling on him to resign as well, as The Daily Caller noted.
“Gov. Ralph Northam admitted that he is pictured in the racist photo in his medical school yearbook,” NARAL president Ilyse Hogue tweeted. “Making amends and rebuilding trust must start with resigning his post. Virginians deserve better,” she added.
“As the nation’s largest provider of reproductive health care, we have a responsibility to advocate for all patients, and to provide compassionate health care to all people who walk through our doors,” Planned Parenthood president Leana Wen said in a statement.
“There is no place for Gov. Ralph Northam’s racist actions or language. He must step down as Governor. The people of Virginia need to be able to trust that their leaders will fight for them and support policies that protect their health, safety, and value their communities. Gov. Northam’s actions put that in doubt.”
See some of the relevant tweets below — and share your thoughts.
Northam has scheduled a press conference for Saturday morning.
— Laura Ingraham (@IngrahamAngle) February 2, 2019
— James Woods (@RealJamesWoods) February 2, 2019
These images arouse centuries of anger, anguish, and racist violence and they’ve eroded all confidence in Gov. Northam’s ability to lead. We should expect more from our elected officials. He should resign.
— Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) February 2, 2019
It's this line of Northam's campaign attack ads that makes me so mad.
He called Ed Gillespie a "Racist" for wanting to curb MS-13.
Meanwhile, he's an actual sheet wearing racist. https://t.co/tH6FcHncJu
— Mickey White (@BiasedGirl) February 2, 2019
The Northern Virginia Community College Democrats call for VA Governor Northam's immediate resignation following the racist photo of him that has recently surfaced. Please see our full statement here. pic.twitter.com/rVuZ2efLbO
— NVCC Dems (@nvccdems) February 2, 2019
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam has announced plans for a Saturday morning press conference — raising the likelihood of a resignation in the eyes of Democrats https://t.co/8k4nftzZrN
— POLITICO (@politico) February 2, 2019
And check out this video:
This article has been updated.