Virginia Governor Ralph Northam Poses In Blackface And KKK Photo
April 25, 2019
Democratic Virginia Governor Ralph Northam posed in a photo beside one person in blackface and another in a Ku Klux Klan (KKK) robe. The photo appeared in the 1984 Eastern Virginia Medical School yearbook.
According to an article by Caroline Kelly at CNN, Northam admitted he was in the photo, and posed in blackface for a dance competition. It was reported that he was mimicking Michael Jackson. Northam stated that the photo was “clearly racist and offensive” and posted a video on Twitter stating, “I am deeply sorry for the decisions I made to appear as I did in this photo for the hurt that decision caused then and now.” The general public is split. Half accept his apology but others still want him to resign.
Northam supposedly posed in blackface for a dance contest at Eastern Virginia Medical School. He was mimicking Michael Jackson’s iconic one handed glove look, and used black shoe polish on his cheeks to paint his skin black. The contrast between the Michael Jackson costume and the other man in the KKK attire has created suspicions as to whether or not the photo was meant to be racist.
Many people want Northam to resign, including current President Donald J. Trump, and other governors. The Virginia government wants to confirm it was Northam in the photo before they consider forcibly impeaching him, but even if they confirm the photo it is unlikely that they will successfully impeach him.
If the Virginia government did impeach Northam, they would have to prove either he commited a crime, or is mentally or physically disabled. In Ralph Northam’s case, he will only be impeached if he has committed a crime as he is not mentally or physically disabled as far as the public is aware. Northam hasn’t committed a crime, but it is unlikely that he will be reelected ever again.
If Northam were to resign, Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax would take his place. Fairfax is Democratic so the resignation would not affect the ratio of Republicans to Democrats. Fairfax has found himself in some drama as well. He was accused of assaulting two women, both women have come forward, but no trial has been held as of now.
In January of 2019, Florida’s Secretary of State, Michael Ertel, resigned after he posed as a Hurricane Katrina victim in blackface. The photo was taken almost 14 years ago, but just recently emerged.
When Northam was asked what actions he would take to correct the situation he stated, “I recognize that it will take time and serious effort to heal the damage this conduct has caused… 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…” It is believed that Northam is avoiding the public by using a tunnel system in Capital Square. He uses the tunnel to get from his mansion to his office next door.