WATCH: Virginia Governor Ralph Northam Accepts Responsibility For Blackface-Klan Photograph
Virginia governor Ralph Northam accepts responsibility for his racist past in a new video address released Friday night. Democrats and Republicans alike are condemning Northam after Big League Politics published a medical school yearbook photo of Northam and a friend wearing blackface and a Ku Klux Klan hood, respectively.
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) called for Northam to resign as the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus convened an emergency meeting to figure out how to handle the Northam crisis. Senator Kamala Harris of California and presidential candidate Julian Castro have both called for Northam’s resignation.
Northam said he is prepared to do “hard work” to heal the wounds he has caused, but it appears that the damage is irreversible.
My fellow Virginians, earlier today I released a statement apologizing for behavior in my past that falls far short of the standard you set for me when you elected me to be your governor. I believe you deserve to hear directly from me. pic.twitter.com/1rSw1oxfrX
— Ralph Northam (@GovernorVA) February 2, 2019
Northam refused to shake the hand of his black opponent E.W. Jackson during a 2013 televised debate in the Virginia lieutenant governor’s race.
E.W. Jackson, his black opponent, said that Northam is “consistent” in his behavior, and not shaking his hand was just evidence of that. (READ: Fallout Continues From Ralph Northam’s Blackface Yearbook Photo).
“It was insulting, but, on the other hand, I thought it was consistent with the way he behaves. Because, this spot he’s been running, saying that I believe that a child born with birth defects is born that way because of their parents’ sin is just a damnable, palpable, despicable lie. I don’t believe that. I never said anything like that. And it’s that kind of dishonesty that, to me, says this is not the kind of person that needs to be holding state-wide office. Not shaking my hand really just confirmed that,” E.W. Jackson said in an interview on WMAL’s Mornings on the Mall.