A 34-year-old photo is currently causing a stir in US politics. The Democratic Governor of the State of Virginia, Ralph Northam, is accused of being depicted in a racist photo. First apologized Northam – after pressure from his own party, he denied on Saturday, however, to be in the photo. He refused the resignation demanded by party colleagues.
„This is definitely not me,“ said Northam on Saturday before journalists. „I recognize that when I look at it,“ the New York Times quotes the US Democrat. He does not think about resigning: „As long as I feel I can lead the state, I will.“
The photo from the yearbook of a medical university from the year 1984 was first posted by a website and then taken over by several US media. On a page with Northam’s name as title and other photos of the governor is also the controversial photo printed: It shows a person in a white habit of the racist Ku Klux Klans and a person as a „blackface“, so with a black face.
After the photo circulated on the net, there were quick calls for Northam’s resignations. Democrat ex-vice-president Joe Biden wrote: „There is no room for racism in America. Governor Northam has lost all moral authority and should resign immediately, (Lieutenant Governor, Note) Justin Fairfax is the leader Virginia now needs. “
There is no place for racism in America. Governor Northam has lost all moral authority and should resign immediately, Justin Fairfax is the leader of Virginia needs now.
– Joe Biden (@ JoeBiden) February 2, 2019
The picture called forth „centuries of anger, agony and racist violence,“ said the African American US Senator Cory Booker a few hours after his application for the presidential candidacy of the Democrats. It shook confidence in Northam, so he should step down, Booker added. In Northam’s state of Virginia, there were immediate protests on the street, which demanded the resignation of the governor.
First apologies, then backslider
The Democrat reacted to the allegations in the night on Saturday and initially apologized for the „clearly racist and disgusting“ costume, without saying which of the two people in the photo he was. „This behavior has nothing to do with how I am today and the values I have struggled throughout my career.“
When asked why he first apologized for the photo, Northam said he wanted to „take responsibility“ for a horrible photo that was on my side with my name. „However, during the press conference he admitted to joining in 1984 The Army appeared as Michael Jackson, and painted his face with shoe paste. He regrets this action very much, so Northam.
Northam asks for forgiveness
Northam did not want to follow the call after his resignation, instead he asked forgiveness: „I ask for the opportunity to earn me your forgiveness,“ said the ailing governor. The demands for resignation did not cease even after the press conference – pressure on Northam could rise in the coming days.