Voices on the left calling for Democrat Virginia Governor Ralph Northam to resign are piling up, after a medical school yearbook photo of him in black face or a KKK robe surfaced on Friday.
Deray Mckesson, an influential African American activist and podcaster, tweeted Friday, “Northam should resign.”
Northam should resign.
— deray (@deray) February 2, 2019
Derrick Johnson, president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), also called for Northam to resign:
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
Progressive activist groups also called on Northam to resign:
We don't tolerate racism from either side of the aisle.
Governor @RalphNortham must resign.
— Latino Victory (@latinovictoryus) February 1, 2019
Progressive groups MoveOn and DemocracyforAmerica began circulating a petition calling for his resignation.
— MoveOn (@MoveOn) February 2, 2019
The incoming head of the Democratic Governors Association (DGA) and New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy also called for Northam to resign:
Just In: @GovMurphy, the incoming head of the DGA, calls for Northam to resign.
"I don’t see the governor has any other choice other than to step aside."
— Nick Corasaniti (@NYTnickc) February 2, 2019
Northam released two statements apologizing for the photo, but not clarifying whether he was wearing black face or dressed in a KKK robe.
His apologies did not quell the growing number of Democrats calling on him to resign.
The list of Democrat lawmakers also calling for Northam to resign is also growing. So far Sens. Kamala Harris (CA) and Elizabeth Warren (MA) have called on him to resign.
Harris had previously congratulated Northam on winning his race for Virginia governor in a tweet that said, “Congratulations to @RalphNortham and his team for showing that Virginia won’t stand for hatred and bigotry.”
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) November 8, 2017
By Friday evening, Democrat Reps. Ted Lieu (CA), Eric Swalwell (CA), Ro Khanna (CA), and Elaine Luria (VA), also called on him to step down.
However, some on the left stopped short of calling on Northam to resign.
Virginia Sens. Tim Kaine (D) and Mark Warner (D) called the picture “shocking” and “horrible” but said vaguely that Northam should reflect and consider what comes next.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (NY), a 2020 hopeful, also did not immediately call for Northam’s resignation.
“I think he needs to explain to the voters of Virginia what that was about and I think he needs to apologize,” she said in a statement.
She later tweeted: “Having seen the photo, I believe Governor Northam should resign.”
There aren’t two sets of rules for our friends and our foes: Right is right and wrong is wrong. 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.
— Kirsten Gillibrand (@SenGillibrand) February 2, 2019