Dem Gov. Northam on Racist Yearbook Photo: I Will Serve The Remainder Of My Term; UPDATE: It's Not Me!


Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) delivered a video statement on Twitter apologizing for a racist photo in his 1984 yearbook page from Eastern Virginia Medical School. There are two people in the photo. There is a man in blackface and another in a Ku Klux Klan robe. As of Friday night, is unknown which is Northam.

UPDATE (2/2/19): Northam said Saturday that he is not in the photo:

Embattled Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam told at least one fellow Democrat Saturday that he was not in a racist 1984 yearbook photo of two men dressed in blackface and a Ku Klux Klan outfit -- despite admitting he was in the picture a day earlier -- and that he does not intend to resign, a dramatic twist in the face of mounting calls from members of his own party for him to step down.

His Friday night video address:

GOV. RALPH NORTHAM (D-VA): My fellow Virginians, earlier today I released a statement apologizing for behavior in my past that falls far short of the standard you set for me when you elected me to be your governor. I believe you deserve to hear directly from me

I can't change the decisions I made, or cannot undo the harm that my behavior caused then, and today. But I accept responsibility for my past actions and I'm ready to do the hard work of regaining your trust.

I have spent the past year as your governor fighting for a Virginia that works better for all people. I am committed to continuing that fight through the remainder of my term and living up to the expectations you set for me when you elected me to serve. Thank you.

Northam released the following written statement earlier in the day:

“Earlier today, a website published a photograph of me from my 1984 medical school yearbook in a costume that is clearly racist and offensive.

“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.

“I recognize that it will take time and serious effort to heal the damage this conduct has caused. I am ready to do that important work. The first step is to offer my sincerest apology and to state my absolute commitment to living up to the expectations Virginians set for me when they elected me to be their Governor.”

Show comments Hide Comments

Latest Political Videos

Video Archives