Ralph Northam ‘Deeply Sorry’ for Yearbook Photo of Him in Blackface or KKK Attire

SPRINGFIELD, VA - OCTOBER 23: Democratic gubernatorial candidate and Virginia Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam speaks to residents during a visit at Greenspring Retirement Community October 23, 2017 in Springfield, Virginia. Northam is running against Republican Ed Gillespie to be the next governor of Virginia. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Alex Wong/Getty Images, Edit: BNN

Virginia Democrat Gov. Ralph Northam apologized in a statement on Friday for a medical school yearbook showing two men — one of them of himself — in blackface and the other in Klu Klux Klan attire. Northam did not state which person he was in the inflammatory photo.

Northam released a statement on Friday admitting to having the photo included in his medical school yearbook. The Virginia Democrat Gov. also admitted to appearing in the photo; however, he did not say whether he was the man in blackface or in Klu Klux Klan attire.

Breitbart News also reported how, during the 2017 gubernatorial campaign, Northam decried Republican nominee Ed Gillespie’s “racist rhetoric and fearmongering.”

“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’s statement read.

“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,” the Gov added.

“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,” Northam continued. “But I want to be clear, I understand how this decision shakes Virginians’ faith in that commitment.”

Northam finished his statement:

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.

The Virginia Republican Party called for Northam’s resignation in the wake of the controversial photo.

“What Ralph Northam did was unforgivable,” the Virginia GOP wrote in a tweet on Friday. “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.”

Virginia Republican Party Chairman Jack Wilson said that the photos were “wholly inappropriate.”

Guy Cecil, the chairman of the progressive PrioritiesUSA super PAC, called for Northam’s resignation on Friday.

Cecil wrote, “I believe in personal forgiveness & public repentance. That is not the same as deserving the confidence bestowed in our elected officials. The picture was horrifying and deserves a clear response. Ralph Northam should resign.”

Leftist advocacy group MoveOn also urged Northam to resign on Friday.

MoveOn tweeted on Friday, “If is one of the two people pictured in the highly disturbing, horrific photo wearing either blackface or a KKK hood – or if he selected or approved of its use on his yearbook page — he should immediately resign. There are no excuses for such a racist display.”

Ilya Sherman, the executive director of MoveOn, also said that he was disappointed with Northam’s statement on Friday, saying that Northam “must resign immediately. Period.”

Julian Castro, a former Secretary of the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Department, mayor of San Antonio, and 2020 presidential candidate, condemned Northam and said that he should resign.

Castro tweeted on Friday, “It doesn’t matter if he is a Republican or a Democrat. This behavior was racist and unconscionable. Governor Northam should resign.”


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