In a weird Saturday press convention, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) introduced that he wouldn’t resign over a racist photograph from his medical college yearbook. Northam now says he was not one of many males within the image, although he admitted to as soon as carrying blackface as a part of a Michael Jackson costume.
“I’m asking for the chance to earn your forgiveness,” Northam mentioned, standing alongside his spouse.
He claimed that he had by no means earlier than seen the photograph ― which confirmed a person carrying blackface alongside a person in a Ku Klux Klan outfit ― as a result of he didn’t buy the yearbook. He mentioned that when his employees confirmed him the photograph this week, he was seeing it “for the primary time.”
On the press convention, Northam known as the photograph “offensive, racist and despicable” however acknowledged “I believed then and now that I’m not both of the folks in that photograph.”
Northam mentioned that he would keep in mind if he had taken that photograph due to his “clear reminiscence of different errors I made on this similar interval of my life.” A type of errors, he mentioned, concerned donning blackface in a distinct incident across the similar time.
“That very same 12 months I did take part in a dance content material in San Antonio by which I darkened my face as a part of a Michael Jackson costume,” he mentioned.
Taking questions on the convention, he mentioned of the costume, “I didn’t notice on the time that it was as offensive as I’ve since discovered.”
He additionally volunteered that he “truly gained the competition as a result of I had discovered do the moonwalk.”
Because the press convention wrapped up, the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus launched an announcement saying it was persevering with to name for Northam’s resignation. The caucus mentioned that the governor altering his story broken his means to regain the general public’s belief.
“Our confidence in his means to manipulate for the over eight million Virginians has been eviscerated,” the assertion mentioned.
The photograph that sparked the scandal initially appeared in Jap Virginia Medical College’s 1984 yearbook. Massive League Politics resurfaced photos of the web page this week.
On Friday, Northam had apologized for the photograph in an announcement that indicated he was within the image, saying he was “deeply sorry for the choice I made to look as I did on this photograph and for the harm that call triggered then and now.”
In the identical assertion, mentioned that he supposed to serve out his time period. Since then, nonetheless, he had confronted mounting calls to resign over the photograph, together with from the Democratic Get together of Virginia. The occasion tweeted an announcement on Saturday morning demanding that Northam step down.
This story has been up to date with extra particulars.
Sebastian Murdock contributed reporting.