Gov. Northam’s statement of apology suggests he doesn’t have any plans to leave office over his blackface photo, but groups on the right and left are already calling for him to resign. The VA GOP chairman issued a statement saying as much.
"Racism has no place in Virginia…these pictures are wholly inappropriate. If Governor Northam appeared in blackface or dressed in a KKK robe, he should resign immediately.” – @VA_GOP Chairman, Jack Wilson. https://t.co/BUPlFuofcB
— CRFV | College Republican Federation of Virginia (@CRFVirginia) February 1, 2019
Virginia Senator member Dick Black agreed:
Governor Northam needs to clarify if this is indeed a photo of him. If this is true, he needs to resign. https://t.co/laaVRm0PDq
— Senator Dick Black (@SenRichardBlack) February 1, 2019
But it’s not just people on the right calling for his ouster. Some familiar faces on the left have done the same:
— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) February 1, 2019
I’ve never been a fan of Symone Sanders but she nails it here: “If this were a Republican…”
This is not a clear response. The people of Virginia deserve more. Honestly, if this were a Republican – especially Trump – we would be calling for his resignation. Ralph Northam needs to resign. https://t.co/4s1zodLP5O
— Symone D. Sanders (@SymoneDSanders) February 1, 2019
Gov. Northam must resign immediately. And any Dem that looks the other way on this or offers ridiculous excuses is an absolute hypocrite. What is wrong is wrong regardless of political affiliation. He was 25 at the time, it was 1984, and he still has not come 100 percent clean. https://t.co/WVYR1DmT2M
— Michael Avenatti (@MichaelAvenatti) February 1, 2019
Harry Reid’s former Chief of Staff:
It doesn’t matter if he is a Republican or a Democrat. This behavior was racist and unconscionable. Governor Northam should resign.
— Julián Castro (@JulianCastro) February 2, 2019
MoveOn.org also called for him to resign if the photo were confirmed, which it has been:
If @RalphNortham is one of the two people pictured in the highly disturbing, horrific photo wearing either blackface or a KKK hood – or if he selected or approved of its use on his yearbook page — he should immediately resign. There are no excuses for such a racist display.
— MoveOn (@MoveOn) February 1, 2019
— Nick Corasaniti (@NYTnickc) February 1, 2019
So we’re hearing from quite a few people who are activists affiliated with the party but, so far, not from any of the top party leaders or elected officials. For instance, what do Senators Tim Kaine and Mark Warner have to say? The photo has been circulating for at least 4 hours and so far nothing from them.
Meanwhile, this probably won’t help Northam’s case much. From CBS News:
CBS News uncovered a page from Northam’s yearbook at the Virginia Military Institute which had nicknames listed underneath his name. One of them was “Coonman,” a racial slur.
Does Northam apologize for that too or ignore it?
Update: The head of NARAL joins in.
Governor Ralph Northam admitted that he is pictured in the racist photo in his medical school yearbook. Making amends and rebuilding trust must start with resigning his post. Virginians deserve better.
— ilyse hogue (@ilyseh) February 2, 2019
And the head of the NAACP:
— The Columbia Bugle ✝️ (@ColumbiaBugle) February 2, 2019
Still waiting on elected Democrats to say something. Also, where is Sen. Kamala Harris. Here’s what she posted the night Northam was elected:
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) November 8, 2017
Update: As if on cue, here comes Sen. Harris.
Leaders are called to a higher standard, and the stain of racism should have no place in the halls of government. The Governor of Virginia should step aside so the public can heal and move forward together.
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) February 2, 2019
Here come the big guns:
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam must resign . pic.twitter.com/L04KIVG5i0
— Mia Farrow (@MiaFarrow) February 2, 2019
Governor Ralph Northam must resign. There is no excuse for the shockingly racist picture. I note that Florida Republican Secretary of State Michael Ertel resigned last month for being in blackface. This picture is even worse. It's blackface next to a KKK figure. https://t.co/0Ujze6odGW
— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) February 2, 2019
Ouch! Here’s the Richmond Times-Dispatch:
Earlier this week, Northam made remarks about late-term abortion that troubled many of his constituents. Some of the attacks against him were cynical and misleading. But the governor’s remarks on such a sensitive subject were intemperate and careless. We deserve better from our leaders, especially given the current national political environment.
But it is the revelation of a photo from his medical school yearbook page, showing a man in blackface standing next to someone dressed in Ku Klux Klan robes, that injures his standing and reputation beyond repair. We all act foolishly in our youth. But a college graduate, studying to be a physician, in a state with Virginia’s troubled racial history, should know better than to reduce that history to a callous joke. The photograph reveals a lack of adult judgment that is disturbing. It does not erase Northam’s service in the military or his compassion as a physician. It does, however, strongly suggest that he should, for the good of Virginia, step down from its highest office and allow Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax to succeed him.
I think he’s done. It’s just a matter of time until a few elected officials in his own state turn on him.
This is so true:
The people of Virginia deserve better representation than what they got this week.
— Nikki Haley (@NikkiHaley) February 1, 2019