Virginia Governor Ralph Northam Refusing to Resign Despite Backlash

On Monday, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam, in a TV interview, stated that he will not be resigning after a picture of him in black face surfaced, despite the backlash he has received, and promised to use his platform as governor to help Virginia “heal.”

Angered Americans have made numerous calls for Northam’s resignation, but Northam insists on finishing his term. He declared, “Virginia needs someone that can heal. There’s no better person to do that than a doctor. Virginia also needs someone who is strong, who has empathy, who has courage and who has a moral compass. And that’s why I’m not going anywhere.” He explained the controversy surrounding the photo from decades ago no longer represents who he is now and blames his white privilege and ignorance for the actions he committed as a medical student at Eastern Virginia Medical School.

Feminist Majority released a statement revoking their support for Northam due to his harmful actions. They called for his resignation, stating that, “The violent symbolism of the Klan hood and the degrading history of blackface have no place in a United States that seeks to create a future of equality and justice for all.”

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) President Derrick Johnson also called for Northam’s resignation on Twitter stating, “Black face in any manner is always racist and never okay,” he continues, “No matter the party affiliation, we cannot stand for such behavior, which is why the @NAACP is calling for the resignation of Virginia Governor @RalphNortham.”

Last week, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam found himself in hot waters when a racist yearbook photo of him circulated around the internet. The photo featured an individual dressed in blackface and another individual dressed in the signature Klu Klux Klan, an American white supremacist hate group, white robes and pointed hood. Northam apologized for “the decision I made to appear as I did in this photo and for the hurt that decision caused then and now.”


Media Resources: CBS News 2/10/19; CNN 2/7/19; CNN 2/11/19; Feminist Majority Press Release 2/4/19; Twitter 2/1/19

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