- Sep 1, 2017
A photo from Gov. Ralph Northam’s medical school yearbook shows two men, one in blackface and one in a Ku Klux Klan robe and hood, on the same page as the future governor.
The photo, which The Virginian-Pilot obtained a copy of Friday from the Eastern Virginia Medical School library, comes from the 1984 yearbook, the year Northam graduated.
On the half-page set aside for Northam, there is a headshot of him in a jacket and tie, a photo of him in a cowboy hat and boots and a third of him sitting casually on the ground, leaning against a convertible.
The fourth photo on the half-page has two people, one wearing white Ku Klux Klan robes and a hood, the other with his face painted black. The person with the black face is also wearing a white hat, black jacket, white shirt with a bow tie and plaid pants. Both are holding canned drinks.
It’s unclear who the people in costume are.
Under the photo of the men in blackface and the Klan hood are listed Northam’s alma mater, Virginia Military Institute, and his interest: “Pediatrics.” His quote is listed as “There are more old drunks than old doctors in this world so I think I’ll have another beer.”
The governor’s office did not immediately respond to requests for comment Friday afternoon.
The chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia, Jack Wilson, said in a statement: “Racism has no place in Virginia. These pictures are wholly inappropriate. If Governor Northam appeared in blackface or dressed in a KKK robe, he should resign immediately.”
In a separate statement, four top Republican lawmakers — House of Speaker Kirk Cox, Senate Majority Leader Thomas K. Norment Jr., House Majority Leader Todd Gilbert and Senate Rules Committee Chairman Ryan T. McDougle — said: “This is a deeply disturbing and offensive photograph in need of an immediate explanation by the governor.”
The photo came to light after a week in which the Democratic governor came under fire for his comments about a bill introduced by a first-term Democratic lawmaker that would have loosened restriction abortions in Virginia.
Conservative news outlet Big League Politics first posted the photo at around 2:15 p.m. Friday with the headline “YEARBOOK: Ralph Northam In Blackface & KKK Photo.”
About an hour later, the Virginia GOP caucus Twitter page tweeted, “@governorva needs to explain this immediately.”
On Wednesday, Northam was on a WTOP-FM show and was asked about a failed bill introduced by Del. Kathy Tran that would have relaxed limits on third-trimester abortions.
It’s time for the Governor of Virginia to resign. Aside from revealing the true face of the Democrat Party, he propagated infanticide earlier this week. Which is more offensive, the black face or the KKK hood and robes? Hell, why not both? Perhaps the consumption of alcohol being presented the way it is?