Newly-announced presidential candidate Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) joined a chorus of 2020 White House hopefuls in calling on Gov. Ralph Northam (D-VA) to resign after a photo surfaced featuring him and another person in blackface and Klu Klux Klan attire.
“These images arouse centuries of anger, anguish, and racist violence and they’ve eroded all confidence in Gov. Northam’s ability to lead,” Booker wrote on Twitter. “We should expect more from our elected officials. He should resign.”
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
Northam admitted Friday that he appears in the 1984 medical yearbook photo on his designated page showing one individual in blackface and the second wearing a KKK robe and hood. Northam, who acknowledged that explosive photo is “clearly racist and offensive,” would not reveal which costume he was wearing. The website Big League Politics first reported on the photo, and was later confirmed by the Virginia-Pilot and the Washington Post.
“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,” he said in a statement.
Joining Booker in calling for Northam’s resignation were Democrat presidential hopefuls Sens. Kamala Harris (D-CA) Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), along with former Obama-era HUD Secretary Julian Castro. “There aren’t two sets of rules for our friends and our foes: Right is right and wrong is wrong,” Gillibrand said. “Americans deserve to be respected by their leaders, and racism cannot be excused in our government or anywhere else. Having seen the photo, I believe Governor Northam should resign.”