Virginia Governor Apologizes for Racist Image In 1984 Medical School Yearbook

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Ralph Northam’s page in the 1984 yearbook of Eastern Virginia Medical School in which two people are wearing blackface and a KKK costume.

Sarah McCammon /NPR


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Sarah McCammon /NPR

Ralph Northam’s page in the 1984 yearbook of Eastern Virginia Medical School in which two people are wearing blackface and a KKK costume.

Sarah McCammon /NPR

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam apologized on Friday for appearing in a “clearly racist and offensive” costume in his 1984 medical school yearbook. The photo shows a person wearing blackface standing next to another person wearing a Ku Klux Klan robe.

Northam said in a statement: “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.”

Northam didn’t specify which of the people in the photo was him.

The page features his name, his undergraduate alma mater and his interest in pediatrics. The page includes a montage of photos, including one of Northam in a jacket and tie and another in which he is wearing a cowboy hat.

Northam graduated from Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, Va.

The Republican Party of Virginia is calling on the governor to resign. “What Ralph Northam did was unforgivable,” the party said via its Twitter page.

“Given his statements on the right to life coupled with the most recent revelations, he has lost the moral authority to continue to govern and should resign immediately. “

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, pictured preparing to address a news conference on Thursday, issued an apology for a racist photo on his medical school yearbook page.

Steve Helber/AP


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Steve Helber/AP

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, pictured preparing to address a news conference on Thursday, issued an apology for a racist photo on his medical school yearbook page.

Steve Helber/AP

Northam’s office released a statement from the governor on Friday evening, apologizing for the image.

“This behavior is not in keeping with who I am today and the values I have fought for throughout my career in the military, in medicine, and in public service,” Northam said in the statement. “I want to be clear, I understand how this decision shakes Virginians’ faith in that commitment. …

“I recognize that it will take time and serious effort to heal the damage this conduct has caused. I am ready to do that important work. The first step is to offer my sincerest apology and to state my absolute commitment to living up to the expectations Virginians set for me when they elected me to be their Governor,” he said.

Article source: https://www.npr.org/2019/02/01/690862933/virginia-governor-displayed-racist-image-in-1984-medical-school-yearbook?utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=news

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