Many Dems Call for Gov. Northam’s Resignation

| February 2, 2019 | 0 Comments | News

Ralph Northam, Democrat

Many are calling upon Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam- D to resign, including those of his own party, after a racist photo from his yearbook surfaced on Friday.

Published in the governor’s 1984 medical school yearbook, the offensive photo shows two men: one dressed in blackface and the other wearing a KKK style white hood.

Northam apologized for the photo in a public statement, Friday, saying he did appear in them.

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.

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.

However, the apology did not quell the calls for his resignation.

Former Gov. Terry McAuliffe-D was one of many Democrats recommending that Northam resign.

“This situation that he has put himself and the Commonwealth of Virginia in is untenable. It’s time for Ralph to step down, and for the Commonwealth to move forward.”

The Virginia Black Caucus was among one of the first groups calling the governor’s resignation, publishing this statement on Feb. 1.

We have just finished meeting with the Governor. We fully appreciate all that he has contributed to our Commonwealth. But given what was revealed today, it is clear that he can no longer effectively serve as Governor. It is time for him to resign, so that Virginia can begin the process of healing.

The NAACP also called for Northam’s resignation. NAACP President Derrick Johnson Tweated, Friday evening:

Black face in any manner is always racist and never okay. No matter what the party affiliation, we can not stand for such behavior, which is why the @NAACP is calling for the resignation of Virginia Governor @RalphNortham.

The Prince William Democrats also weighed in, and Don Shaw, President of the Prince William Democrats, is calling for the governor to “step down.”

The photograph from Governor Northam’s 1984 yearbook is racist and does not represent the values we as Democrats hold dear. I have known Ralph for several years now and have known him to be a strong advocate for equality; never uttering anything remotely racist. That does not excuse the contents of the photo and its existence must be addressed.

I trust that the Governor will do what is best to allow our Commonwealth to heal moving forward. I believe that means he must step down.

And Kenny Boyde, Democratic Candidate for the Occoquan District, released his own statement condemning Northam.

He called upon both Governor Northam and Senator Dick Saslaw who defended him to resign “immediately.”

The Virginia Education Association added its voice, condemning the photo.

The VEA condemns the racist images in Gov. Northam’s yearbook in the strongest possible terms. There is no place in our society for such vile and offensive images. As a nation we have many barriers to overcome to achieve a just society. Today’s news is a painful reminder of how far we have to go.

Virginia Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine have not made statements at this time.

Should the governor resign, Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax-D would take his place. Fairfax would become Virginia’s second African American governor. L. Douglas Wilder was the first African American governor of Virginia, serving from 1990-1994.

This incident directly follows controversial allegations of Northam endorsing “infanticide” after he made comments that doctors and parents could decide whether or not to resuscitate a baby just born who was not expected to survive due to serious deformity or other abnormality.

The comment stemmed from a controversial late-term abortion bill proposed by Del. Kathy Tran-D (42nd, Fairfax) that would loosen abortion laws, saying that a woman would not need to seek the recommendation of three doctors to obtain a late-term abortion and could do it for various medical reasons beyond only serious threat to the mother’s life.

Northam was expected to resign by Saturday morning. Some news stations such as CNN are now reporting that Northam has said he will not be stepping down, and that he does not believe he was one of the men in the photo but that there was a mix-up.

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