Hours after a conservative news outlet first reported there is a racist photo on Northam's medical school yearbook page, Virginia's governor on Friday apologized and acknowledged that he appears in the photo. It shows a person wearing blackface and another in a Ku Klux Klan robe. He says he's been impressed with Northam and hopes he can find a way to finish out his term. We can generally rely on what each other said to be accurate ... "As far as the politics is concerned, I don't know whether he should resign or not".
The governor said he submitted the other three photos on his page in the school yearbook and that he suspected the placing of the racist photo was the result of a mix-up.
"He made a mistake".
"He doesn't want to go down on something he doesn't think he did", said Anthea Butler, a University of Pennsylvania religion professor who has written about politics. A day later, resignation is an active consideration, the people said. She was willing to "let it slide", but said not everyone would let it go. Northam admitted he was one of the people in the photo, but didn't specify which person in the photo is him.
But on Saturday he said he had looked at the photo more carefully and was not sure it was him.
Further, in a weird press conference, Northam admitted he had previously worn blackface as part of a Michael Jackson costume. Northam is under fire for a racial photo that appeared in his college yearbook. Under the picture, it listed the racist slur "Coonman" - in quotes - as one of his nicknames.
Virginia Governor Ralph Northam speaks with reporters at a press conference at the Governor's mansion on February 2, 2019 in Richmond, Virginia.
"I don't know their motives or intent". That was the extent of that, and it ended up in the yearbook. Responding to a question from a reporter, he said there were multiple episodes of blackface use at the medical school.
Later, however, Northam denied that he was in the photo.
"I stated, earlier, that Gov. Northam's continuing in office was his choice to make".
The Virginia Legislative Black Caucus wrote in a statement that they were amplifying their call for the governor to resign. His mind was made up. He called the press conference an opportunity "for him to resign gracefully and we are disappointed that he didn't do that".
If Northam steps down, Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax would step up. She has told NBC's "Meet the Press" that the Virginia governor knew this picture was there and could've been open about it decades ago with African-Americans that he's close to. I understand that you're considering a presidential run yourself, which is already a very crowded field. "Ralph will to the right thing for the Commonwealth of Virginia".
Stuart Saunders, a 65-year-old Richmond resident, said he didn't vote for the governor.
"I'm just a voter", he said.
The official said Northam is still trying to determine what's best for the state as he weighs his future. "I just don't think that should happen".
- On page 34, the pharmacology page, a photo of a white man, not in blackface, shows him holding a coffee mug bearing the words, "We can't get fired!"
Brooks said she was anxious Northam would have to expend too much time dealing with his current problem. He also said that Northam's Republican opponent in the 2017 gubernatorial election, Ed Gillespie, would have won had the photo turned up during their campaign. There's no way I could step into the shoes of those individuals who are so offended, members of the African-American community - I can't.