From abortion to blackface: Northam engulfed in controversy

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News first broke on Friday of the racist photo on Northam's Eastern Virginia Medical School yearbook page from 1984 showing one man in blackface standing next to another person wearing full Ku Klux Klan regalia.

Four hundred years ago, in 1619 - a year before the Mayflower - the first African slaves in British North America landed at Hampton Roads.

Democratic party leaders in Virginia told NPR they are also still grappling with the revelations about Northam. "No matter the party affiliation, we can not stand for such behavior".

CNN reports that following this news conference both Mark Warner (D) and Tim Kaine (D) - Virginia's senators - still called for Northam to resign.

And former Gov. Terry McAuliffe, with whom Northam served as lieutenant governor, echoed the call on CNN on Sunday. And I think that this is indicative of some of the tensions that over time you have people that just wanted to keep the uncomfortable equilibrium together, don't rock the boat.

McAuliffe said, "Ralph will do the right thing for the Commonwealth of Virginia".


Fairfax also told the Washington Post: "I've known Ralph for years ..." "And so I think that's why I think we have called for the resignation".

But The Post reported that two other sources from Big League Politics said the source was a former medical school classmate - or classmates - who grew enraged by an earlier controversy involving Northam's comments on abortion.

"I think there's a rightful hesitation about removal from office, because obviously you have to consider that to some degree you're overturning an election", Cox said. I recognize that many people will find this hard to believe.

A political death watch took shape at Virginia's Capitol as Gov. Ralph Northam consulted with top administration officials Monday about whether to resign amid a furor over a racist photo in his 1984 yearbook.

Northam, 59, initially apologized on Friday and said he was one of the two people in the photo, then changed his story Saturday, saying he did not appear in the picture but had dressed in blackface at another point that year.

That such a blatant display of racism somehow ended up getting published puzzles Rebecca Haley, a hematologist in Seattle who graduated medical school with Northam. "I am not and will not excuse the content of the photo". On Saturday, at a press conference in Richmond, he reversed course and said he was not in the picture and had never seen the yearbook before its release this week.


While talking with reporters, Northam admitted he once used shoe polish to put on blackface as part of a Michael Jackson costume for a 1984 dance contest in Texas, when he was in the Army. Northam said he recognizes now that was wrong.

We will move quickly to assemble an appropriate panel to conduct this investigation - a panel of advocates for diversity and inclusion representative of our greater community, including African Americans and other people of color; a diverse panel that can apply a critical eye to this issue.

"These images arouse centuries of anger, anguish, and racist violence and they've eroded all confidence in Gov. Northam's ability to lead". After Saturday's news conference, Sens.

Democrats are anxious about what Northam's refusal to resign may mean for the party.

"But given what was revealed today, it is clear that he can no longer effectively serve as governor", the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus said, "It is time for him to resign, so that Virginia can begin the process of healing".

"His past actions are completely antithetical to everything the Democratic Party stands for", Perez wrote.


Both of Virginia's US senators, Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, joined the dean of Virginia's congressional delegation, Rep. Bobby Scott, in saying in a statement Saturday night that they no longer believe Northam can effectively serve as governor.

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