Democrats and Republicans are calling for Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam to resign after the Democratic lawmaker apologized for appearing in a “racist and offensive” photo from his medical school 1984 yearbook page.
Northam admitted to being one of the people in the controversial photo, which depicted a man dressed in blackface and another in a KKK robe. Although he hasn’t made it clear which costume he was wearing at the time.
Politicians said Northam should step down from his position, including presidential candidates Sen. Kamala Harris and Julian Castro.
“Leaders are called to a higher standard, and the stain of racism should have no place in the halls of government,” Harris tweeted. “The Governor of Virginia should step aside so the public can heal and move forward together.”
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) 2 February 2019
Julián Castro agreed, adding that Northam’s political affiliation was of no consequence in this situation.
“It doesn’t matter if he is a Republican or a Democrat. This behavior was racist and unconscionable. Governor Northam should resign,” he tweeted.
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) 2 February 2019
At this stage, Northam has no immediate plans to step down.
Kellyanne Conway also tweeted about Northam while referencing the focus Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s high school yearbook received during his confirmation fight last year.
“This should be easier work than parsing every word and semicolon in the Kavanaugh yearbook,” she Tweeted.
This should be easier work than parsing every word and semicolon in the Kavanaugh yearbook. https://t.co/3VA6Ct1NIn— Kellyanne Conway (@KellyannePolls) 1 February 2019
GOP Sen. Tim Scott noted Northam’s apology and said while it was “good,” it doesn’t rectify the situation.
“To be clear, while a quick apology is good, it does not excuse the choices made by @GovernorVA as an adult enrolled in medical school,” the South Carolina lawmaker tweeted. “The people of VA will make their voices heard.”
To be clear, while a quick apology is good, it does not excuse the choices made by @GovernorVA as an adult enrolled in medical school. The people of VA will make their voices heard;I hope they will shout far&wide that there are consequences for such showcases of prejudice&hate.— Tim Scott (@SenatorTimScott) 1 February 2019
NAACP leader Derrick Johnson said on Twitter: “
Black face in any manner is always racist and never okay. No matter the party affiliation, we can not stand for such behavior, which is why the @NAACP is calling for the resignation of Virginia Governor @RalphNortham— Derrick Johnson (@DerrickNAACP) 2 February 2019
California Democratic Rep. Ted Lieu also Tweeted out calling for Northam to step down saying: “no excuse for the shockingly racist picture.”
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) 2 February 2019
Rep. Mark Walker, R-N.C. tweeted that “Governor Northam needs to step aside.”
If you advocate for infanticide you have no business holding public office. If you don a mask or a hood of racism and hatred you have no business in our public discourse. Governor Northam needs to step aside.— Rep. Mark Walker (@RepMarkWalker) 2 February 2019
New York Democrat Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand tweeted that “there aren’t two sets of rules for our friends and our foes” and that Northam should step down.
There aren’t two sets of rules for our friends and our foes: Right is right and wrong is wrong. Americans deserve to be respected by their leaders, and racism cannot be excused in our government or anywhere else. Having seen the photo, I believe Governor Northam should resign.— Kirsten Gillibrand (@SenGillibrand) 2 February 2019
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