US Democratic governor under fire for racist yearbook photo

Virginia governor Ralph Northam's yearbook page shows men in KKK hood and blackface

Virginia governor Ralph Northam's yearbook page shows men in KKK hood and blackface

Northam told the source he was in touch with some of his former Eastern Virginia Medical School colleagues, who said they believed numerous pictures in the yearbook were mixed up.

The Virginia Democratic Party issued a statement demanding Northam's immediate resignation.

Ralph Northam said Wednesday that while he has darkened his skin before to imitate a black man, he doesn't think he is in the photo that appears on his 1984 medical school yearbook page showing someone in blackface and another person in a KKK costume.

The Virginia executive is telling his colleagues Saturday, he is not in the racially charged photo from his yearbook page.

Despite numerous calls for him to resign, Northam said he would not do so.

Northam, 59, released a statement and a video in which he admitted to appearing in the photo, although he did not say which costume he wore. These pictures are wholly inappropriate. It's unclear who the people in the picture are, but the rest of the page is filled with pictures of Northam and lists his undergraduate alma mater and other information about him.

State Sen. Louise Lucas of Portsmouth, a close ally of Northam and longtime African-American lawmaker, described a hastily called conference call with black leaders around the state as "intense", her voice breaking, but did not elaborate.

On Friday, the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus said in a statement that the yearbook photos "rip the scabs of an excruciatingly painful history and are a piercing reminder of this nation's sins".

The legislative Black Caucus repeated its call for Northam's resignation after his remarks today.

"It has taken time to make sure that it's not me but I'm convinced I'm not on that photo", he said.




Northam's press conference appears unlikely to quell the growing pressure from within his party for him to resign. "The first step is to offer my sincerest apology and to state my absolute commitment to living up to the expectations Virginians set for me when they elected me to be their governor".

The governor of the USA state of Virginia, Democrat Ralph Northam, was embroiled in controversy on Friday, when a racist photo from his university yearbook page was released by an online media outlet.

"In the place and time that I grew up, many actions that we rightly recognize as abhorrent today were commonplace", he said. The Ku Klux Klan is a terrorist organization. The photo shows two people looking at the camera - one in blackface wearing a hat, bow tie and plaid trousers; the other in a full Ku Klux Klan robe.

Mr. Northam's decision to remain in office defies the calls of Democrats and Republicans at all levels, from the party's potential 2020 presidential candidates to his own troops in Virginia's legislature.

Demonstrators hold signs and chant outside the Governors office at the Capitol in Richmond, Va., Saturday, Feb. 2, 2019.

"That photo doesn't represent the man that I have known for more than a decade", he said in a post to his Facebook page. 57th District Delegate Toscano Calls on Northam to Resign:"The yearbook photograph of Governor Ralph Northam that went viral yesterday is outrageously offensive and deeply troubling".

"I ask Governor Northam to resign".

Former US housing secretary Julian Castro, who has also entered the race, said: "This behaviour was racist and unconscionable".

When he ran for governor in 2017, Northam paid special attention to black churches, often attending two or three every Sunday.

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