Northam Refuses to Resign: I Am Not in Photo, But I ‘Darkened My Face’ for Michael Jackson Costume at Dance Contest
Governor Ralph Northam said at his Saturday afternoon press conference that he has no intention of resigning and that he is not in that racist photo.
Northam was roundly condemned after the news of the racist photo on his yearbook page depicting someone in blackface and another person in a KKK robe. Many Democrats, including the Virginia Democratic party and several 2020 presidential candidates, called on him to resign.
He said this in his presser today:
“Yesterday I took responsibility for content that appeared on my page in the Eastern Virginia Medical School yearbook that was clearly racist and offensive. I am not and will not excuse the content of the photo. It was offensive, racist, and despicable. When my staff showed me the photo in question yesterday, I was seeing it for the first time. I did not purchase the EVMS yearbook and I was unaware of what was on my page. When I was confronted with the images yesterday, I was appalled that they appeared on my page. But I believed then and now that I am not either of the people in that photo. I stand by my statement of apology to the many Virginians who were hurt by seeing this content on a yearbook content that belongs to me. It is disgusting. It is offensive. It is racist. And it was my responsibility to recognize and prevent it from being published in the first place. I recognize that many people will find this difficult to believe. The photo appears with others I submitted, on a page with my name on it. Even in my own statement yesterday, I conceded that, based on the evidence presented to me at the time, the most likely explanation, that it was indeed me in the photo. In the hours since I made my statement yesterday, I reflected with my family and classmates from the time and affirmed my conclusion that I am not the person in that photo.”
But in addition to denying that he’s in the photo, the governor admitted, “I did participate in a dance contest in San Antonio in which I darkened my face as part of a Michael Jackson costume.”
Watch above, via CNN.
[image via screengrab]
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]