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Virginia governor battles scandal

by Harvest Prude
Posted 2/04/19, 12:05 pm

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, a Democrat, is rebuffing calls for his resignation over racist photos in his 1984 medical school yearbook. A photo from his personal page in the Eastern Virginia Medical School publication surfaced on Friday showing two people standing side-by-side, one wearing blackface and another wearing a Ku Klux Klan robe. Northam issued an apology Friday, though he did not say which costume was his. Then, during a Saturday news conference, he denied he was in the photo, though he disclosed he once wore blackface to imitate singer Michael Jackson at a dance contest. On Saturday, a page from his Virginia Military Institute yearbook surfaced that had a racial slur, apparently a nickname, under Northam’s photo.

Both state and national Democratic leaders have called for Northam’s resignation, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California, former Vice President Joe Biden, and Sens. Cory Booker of New Jersey, Kamala Harris of California, and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, all three of whom are running for the 2020 Democratic nomination for president. The Virginia Legislative Black Caucus issued a statement saying the scandal has “eviscerated” Northam’s ability to govern.

The governor, whose term ends in 2021, said he planned to remain in office as long as he could. Republicans have called for his resignation since last week for comments he made in support of a late-term abortion bill in his state that eventually failed to pass. In a radio interview, Northam described a hypothetical situation in which an infant who was severely deformed or unable to survive after birth could be left to die, even after delivery: “If a mother is in labor, I can tell you exactly what would happen. The infant would be delivered. The infant would be kept comfortable. The infant would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desired and then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother.”

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Harvest Prude

Harvest is a reporter for WORLD based in Washington, D.C.

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  • CJ
    Posted: Mon, 02/04/2019 01:06 pm

    Last sentence "ensure"... shouldn’t that be ensue?

  • Web Editor
    Posted: Mon, 02/04/2019 02:11 pm

    Thank you for writing to point out the error. It has been corrected.

  • Sam Powell
    Posted: Mon, 02/04/2019 01:24 pm

    What and indictment on the state of our moral compass,  we are more offended by a foolish picture taken 30 years ago, as offensive as it is, than the killing of millions of babies!!!

  • Janet B
    Posted: Mon, 02/04/2019 01:52 pm

    I am sure I would never vote for this man, but this call for his resignation based on goofiness 30 years old is ridiculous.  He does not deserve this.

    Posted: Mon, 02/04/2019 04:48 pm

    If he were a Republican, there would be people with masks on in front of his house threatening his family. And no police protection for conservatives.  


    Posted: Mon, 02/04/2019 04:57 pm

    He seemed relieved that that photo wasn't of him. Which means somone out there might have a photo of him dressed up like either but it didn't make it into the yearbook. 

    Posted: Mon, 02/04/2019 04:59 pm

    Being a Democrat proves you are not a racist.

  • Laura W
    Posted: Mon, 02/04/2019 07:52 pm

    I'm starting to wonder if he initially didn't say which was him just to find out whether anyone actually could identify either one as him. If not, it probably makes more sense in politics for him not to admit it.

    Though if I'm gathering the tone of the picture correctly, it looks more like a tactless claim that beer can even unite enemies than anything intentionally pro-racism.

  • VISTA48
    Posted: Tue, 02/05/2019 08:58 am

    Do we really want to start crucifying people because they were once young and stupid? This isn't much different than what was done to Justice Kavanaugh. And what is to become of the current generation that puts every ill-conceived notion and feeling onto social media?