Ralph Northam has been told to step down after a photo of him in a racist costume surface online.
Earlier on Friday, a website published a picture of the governor of Virginia from his 1984 medical school yearbook and he appeared in a costume that has been described as racist and offensive. The picture depicted two men standing next to each other with one wearing a
Ku Klux Klan hood and the other in blackface. The page had the name
“Ralph Shearer Northam” written at the top. The governor admitted that he was one of the men in the photograph but was not specific about which of them he was.
Since the picture went viral, a number of people especially politicians and political groups have called on the Governor to resign. According to the Republican party of Virginia (RPV), what the Governor did is unforgivable. They tweeted that the Governor lost the moral authority to continue ruling after his statement on the right to live and now, the racist costume in his yearbook.
Senator Kamala Harris, in a tweet, said that racism should have no place in government. “The Governor of Virginia should resign so that the people can heal and move on,” he wrote.
In a statement issued on Friday, 59-year-old Northam who was elected in 2017, said that he is deeply sorry for his decision to appear the way he did in the photograph of 1984. “I am sorry for the hurt my decision caused then and now,” he added.
Later in the evening of Friday, Northam issued another statement on video to address the issue of his resignation. “It is impossible to change the decisions I made then and I regret the harm my behavior has caused. But I take responsibility for my past actions and I am willing to do everything I can to regain the trust of the people of Virginia. I will continue that fight through the remainder of my tenure”. Clearly, the Democratic governor is not considering the call to resign.