Democrat and Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam now denies being one of the people photographed in blackface or a KKK outfit after an “independent” investigation could not determine the identities of the subjects of a racist photo in Northam’s 1984 medical school yearbook.
The denial comes despite the fact that Northam admitted to being in the photo the day Big League Politics published the original story.
“I am not in the racist and offensive photo that appears under my name in the 1984 Eastern Virginia Medical School yearbook,” Northam said in a Wednesday statement.
“That being said, I know and understand the events of early February and my response to them have caused hurt for many Virginians and for that, I am sorry,” the statement continued. “I felt it was important to take accountability for the photo’s presence on my page, but rather than providing clarity, I instead deepened pain and confusion.”
But on Feb. 1, Northam admitted that he, indeed, was one of the subjects of the photo.
“Earlier today, a website published a photograph of me from my 1984 medical school yearbook in a costume that is clearly racist and offensive,” he said. “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.”
The next day, during a bizarre press conference, Northam denied being in the photo, but admitted that he had worn blackface previously.
Big League Politics reported:
In a truly bizarre and wide reaching press conference, Democratic Virginia Governor Ralph Northam reversed his admission that he was one of the two students in the racist photograph, and went on to ramble about how difficult it is to remove shoe polish from one’s face and possibly the 2001 movie, Black Hawk Down.
Northam first claimed that he was not present in the photo on his yearbook page, which showed one student in blackface standing next to another in Ku Klux Klan garb. He then admitted that he did once “darken” his face with black shoe polish to look like Michael Jackson for a dancing contest, and later suggested the media contact his medical school roommate for further clarification. Also, that roommate was apparently the medic from Black Hawk Down. He did not clarify if he meant his roommate was the basis of the character or actually in the movie.
When discussing his use of shoe polish to imitate Michael Jackson, Northam remarked that he “used just a little bit of shoe polish,” on his face, saying he only used a small amount “because I don’t know if anyone’s tried, but you cannot get shoe polish off.”
He said repeatedly that he had no recollection of the photo, and only admitted it was him because of the shock. Then he cited his college roommate as an authority.
“And just finally, to be able to talk to my room mate, we’re very close. I think some of you have already reached out to him,” he continued, “He was the medic in Black Hawk Down.”
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