US governor under pressure to resign over racist yearbook photo

Posted by News Express | 2 February 2019 | 843 times

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• Virginia Governor Northam

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam is facing mounting calls for his resignation from fellow Democrats after his 1984 medical school yearbook page surfaced bearing a photo of a man wearing blackface standing next to another person wearing a Ku Klux Klan outfit. 

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), who is running for president in 2020, said in a tweet on Friday that he should “step aside,” saying “the stain of racism should have no place in the halls of government.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), who is also running for president, said that “racism cannot be excused in our government or anywhere else,” and she called on Northam to resign.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), who’s exploring a presidential bid, called the “racist images ... deeply disturbing.” She added: “Hatred and discrimination have no place in our country and must not be tolerated, especially from our leaders — Republican or Democrat. Northam must resign,” CNN reported.

Virginia Rep. Donald McEachin also called for Northam to step aside, saying he was “deeply disappointed and dismayed by the horrific picture.”

The photo from Northam’s yearbook was revealed Friday by Big League Politics. It originally ran in the yearbook of Eastern Virginia Medical School, from which Northam graduated in 1984. A spokesperson for EVMS confirmed the photo’s authenticity to HuffPost.

The page features the governor’s full name as well as several photos of him. Off to the side of the page is a photo of two men dressed in the racist garb.

Northam, in a statement Friday, acknowledged that he was one of the two men but didn’t say which. He also apologized for what he said was a “clearly racist and offensive” image and said he would work “to heal the damage this conduct has caused.”

“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,” the governor said.  

Rep. Elaine Luria, who represents Virginia’s second congressional district, asked Northam to resign, suggesting that his leadership, in light of the photos, drives the community apart.

Later Friday, Northam posted a video message vowing to serve the rest of his term as the governor of Virginia.

“I have spent the past year as your governor fighting for a Virginia that works better for all people,” he said. “I am committed to continuing that fight through the remainder of my term and living up to the expectations you set up for me when you elected me to serve.”  (Huff Post)


Source: News Express

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