The Washington Post published an editorial on Wednesday calling on Virginia Democrat Gov. Ralph Northam to resign amid a scandal where he admitted to wearing blackface.
The Post contended that Northam can no longer “effectively serve the people of Virginia.”
Northam initially admitted and apologized for appearing in a medical school yearbook photo of two people — one in blackface and the other in Ku Klux Klan attire. Northam denied to being in the picture one day later and then admitted during a press conference that he wore shoe polish to darken his face to imitate Michael Jackson. Northam also could not explain why college friends called him “Coonman,” a racial slur.
The Post wrote that Northam’s press conference did not help his case to remain in the governor’s mansion.
“But since his artless, tone-deaf news conference Saturday, the governor has gone to ground and been heard from no more,” the Post editorial board wrote. “No more light has been shed, no exculpatory information has emerged.”
The editorial continued, noting that many questions concerning this scandal remain.
The Post wrote:
Facts do matter, and the ones surrounding the Northam fiasco remain unsettled and unanswered. First and foremost among the questions they raise: How could he possibly have admitted to something as damning as appearing in the photo if he was certain he wasn’t one of the people in it? How did that photo wind up on his page if he didn’t furnish it to the yearbook editors? What do the governor’s now-you-see-it-now-you-don’t statements say about his judgment? The explanations Mr. Northam has proffered are vague and unconvincing. Virginians deserve better. Mr. Northam’s time is up.
The editorial continued, noting that Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax’s sexual misconduct accusation is not “relevant” to Northam’s scandal or his “manifest inability at this point to be an effective governor.”
Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring admitted on Wednesday to also wearing blackface. Breitbart News reported that if Northam, Fairfax, and Herring were to resign, Republican Speaker of the House of Delegates Kirk Cox would become the acting governor.
Cox called on Herring to adhere to the standard that he put on Northam; Herring previously called on Northam to resign amid the governor’s scandal.
“It’s reasonable to guess that other revelations elsewhere, about other public figures with their own histories or photos of offensive, insensitive or racist conduct, may surface in coming days. Each should be judged on its own set of circumstances,” the Post wrote. “In the case of Mr. Northam, the circumstances are decisive; what’s done cannot be undone. He must go.”