About Those Photos In Virginia Governor’s College Yearbook… (Update Added)
[guest post by Dana]
Because the media has seen fit to pounce on Americans who have been fierce in their opposition to infanticide this week, I’m going to post about the latest in a not so good week for Gov. Northam of Virginia:
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 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.
The governor’s office did not immediately respond to requests for comment Friday afternoon.
Or as Allahpundit puts it:
Go figure that a guy with a Klan photo in his yearbook would have a strong stomach for killing innocents.
In fairness to him, a lot of dumb kids did offensive things back when they were [checks notes] 25 years old. In medical school.
This is his medical school yearbook.
Now we wait for the follow-up story: Is Northam the guy in the hood, or the one in blackface? And which is worse?
I can imagine the headline already. “Conservatives pounce on photo of state governor in regional attire.”
So, does Northam apologize or retire? Do the Democrats resuscitate him, or just leave him to die quietly on the table? Or does he deflect by pointing out his ongoing battle against systemic racism:
It’s going to be interesting to see what happens. And although it’s just a yearbook, we need to remember how important yearbooks are:
Oh. Wait. We’re now being told that what happened 30 years ago, doesn’t matter. Not sure when the rules changed, but apparently they have:
A Northam ally, Senate Minority Leader Richard L. Saslaw (D-Fairfax) defended the governor.
“His whole life has been about exactly the opposite and that’s what you need to examine, not something that occurred 30 years ago,” said Senate Minority Leader Richard L. Saslaw (D-Fairfax). “While it’s in very poor taste, I would think no one in the General Assembly who would like their college conduct examined. I would hate to have to go back and examine my two years in the Army. Trust me. I was 18 years old and I was a handful, OK? His life since then has been anything but. It’s been a life of helping people, and many times for free.”
P.S. Tweets via Jerry Dunleavy
UPDATE: Gov. Northam apologizes and confirms that he is one of the individuals in costume:
“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.”
UPDATE 2: Gov. Northam also released a video late today which makes it clear that for now, he does not plan on resigning. Not yet, anyway:
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. pic.twitter.com/1rSw1oxfrX
— Ralph Northam (@GovernorVA) February 2, 2019
UPDATE x3 BY PATTERICO: Now Northam has given an insane press conference in which he says he isn’t in the picture, didn’t authorize it to be included in the yearbook, never saw the picture before yesterday … and, um, dressed in blackface as Michael Jackson in 1984.
(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)