The Virginia Legislative Black Caucus issued a statement Friday night in response to a yearbook photo that surfaced of Democratic Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam and another person wearing blackface and a KKK outfit.“The legacy of slavery, racism, and Jim Crow has been an albatross around the necks of African Americans for over 400 years,” the statement read in part. “These pictures rip off the scabs of an excruciatingly painful history and are a piercing reminder of this nation’s sins. Those who would excuse the pictures are just as culpable.” (RELATED: Yearbook Page Of Democratic Gov. Northam Features KKK, Blackface)
Official Virginia Legislative Black Caucus Statement pic.twitter.com/nfoziG1Ftd
— VLBC (@VaBlackCaucus) February 2, 2019
NAACP president Derrick Johnson also called for Northam to resign following the photo.
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) February 2, 2019
Northam acknowledged Friday that he was, in fact one, of the people in that photo.
In a statement, Northam said in part, “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. This behavior is not in keeping with who I am today and the values I have fought for throughout my career in the military, in medicine, and in public service. But I want to be clear, I understand how this decision shakes Virginians’ faith in that commitment.”