Democrat presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris called for Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam to resign after a racially-charged photo surfaced from his medical school yearbook.
Her call comes despite a 2017 congratulatory tweet in which she thanked Northam .
“Leaders are called to a higher standard, and the stain of racism should have no place in the halls of government,” Harris wrote in tweet Friday after the news broke. “The Governor of Virginia should step aside so the public can heal and move forward together.”
Leaders are called to a higher standard, and the stain of racism should have no place in the halls of government. The Governor of Virginia should step aside so the public can heal and move forward together.
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) February 2, 2019
Harris tweeted about Northam just after his November 2017 gubernatorial campaign victory, thanking him “and his team for showing that Virginia won’t stand for hatred and bigotry.”
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) November 8, 2017
A 1984 Eastern Virginia Medical School yearbook page with Northam’s name and image surfaced Frida, and on that page was a photo of one man in blackface and another in a KKK hood. Virginia newspaper the Virginian-Pilot obtained the photo from the school’s library.
BREAKING: Gov. Ralph Northam yearbook page shows blackface and Klan photohttps://t.co/6A89ejp5Ho
— The Virginian-Pilot (@virginianpilot) February 1, 2019
Within hours after the photo was published, Northam acknowledged that he was one of the two individuals dressed up in the blackface-KKK yearbook photo.
“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 addressing the photo. “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’s statement went on:
This behavior is not in keeping with who I am today and the values I have fought for throughout my career in the military, in medicine, and in public service. But I want to be clear, I understand how this decision shakes Virginians’ faith in that commitment.
I recognize that it will take time and serious effort to heal this damage this conduct has caused. I am ready to do important work. The first step is to offer my sincerest apology and to state my absolute commitment to living up the expectations Virginians set for me when they elected me to their Governor.
Ahead of Northam’s acknowledgement, the Virginia Republican Party called for his immediate resignation: “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.”
Leftist activist group MoveOn and its Executive Director calso called for Northam’s immediate resignation.
Earlier in the week. Northam came under fire for remarks on a radio show suggesting infanticide as related to a state legislative bill.