Democrat Ralph Northam continues his tenure as Governor of Virginia despite allegations that he appeared in racist photos in 1981. USA Today reported on February 2nd that the Governor refuted the public calls for his resignation and argued that he did not appear in the alleged blackface picture in the 1984 edition of the East Virginia Medical School yearbook. “I am not the person in that photo,” Northam said in a February afternoon address to the media. Days before, Northam apologized for appearing in the picture and said it was, “Clearly racist and offensive.”
The recanting of his involvement in the photos drew the ire of President Donald Trump, who said on his Twitter, “Democrat Governor Ralph Northam of Virginia just stated, ‘I believe that I am not either of the people in that photo.’ This was 24 hours after apologizing for appearing in the picture and after making the most horrible statement on “super” late term abortion. Unforgivable!” Although Northam stated that it wasn’t him in the picture, he took full responsibility for his name being featured saying, “I am asking for the opportunity to earn your forgiveness. I am far from perfect and I can always strive to do more.”
Since the scandal, Northam has still continued to serve in his capacity as the head of the state. NBC29 reports that Notham announced that 44 new jobs were being created in Rockbridge County via Virginia based manufacturer Dynovis, Inc. When speaking on the $592,000 investment, Northam said, “Advanced manufacturing in the Commonwealth is soaring thanks to industry-leading companies like Dynovis, Inc., whose commitment to developing innovative technology helps ensure that Virginia remains at the forefront of this critical sector of our economy.” CNN reports that Northman was called to remove the Robert E. Lee statue in Richmond by The American Civil Liberties Union Virginia chapter.
“We urge the Governor to show his commitment to racial equity by taking action immediately to remove this towering racist symbol from Richmond’s Monument Avenue,” the ACLU said in a public statement. Northam’s office did not respond to CNN’s request for an interview.