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Governor Northam Explains Racist Yearbook Nickname: They Called Me ‘Coonman’

The embattled governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia Ralph Northam just gave what is fair to describe as a “bonkers” press conference in which, among other things, he denied being either the figure in a KKK costume or in blackface in an image that appeared in a VMI yearbook, but did own up to wearing blackface in a dance contest held in San Antonio.

Governor Northam also announced that he did not intend to resign despite bipartisan calls for his stepping down from the highest office in Virginia, before taking questions from the assembled press.

One such question focused on why one of the nicknames assigned to him in a 1981 medical school yearbook was “Coonman,”  which also considered, at best, a racially insensitive term, but more accurately, just a racist nickname.

“My main nickname was Goose because when my voice would change, it would change an octave” Northam explained.

He then added “there were two individuals, as best I recollect they were a year ahead of me, they called me ‘Coonman.’ I don’t know their motives or intent. I know who they are. That was the extent of it. This ended up in the yearbook and I regret that.”

So, Northam doesn’t know how the nickname Coonman got in the yearbook nor does he know how the image of a blackfaced clad individual standing next to a KKK be-costumed individual got into his yearbook page either.

But he did wear blackface for a Michael Jackson contest. And no, he’s not resigning.

Watch above via CNN.

[image via screengrab]

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