"I'm not going anywhere": Ralph Northam strikes defiant pose to Gayle King

12 February, 2019, 03:30 | Author: Clarence Schmidt
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The demonstrators are calling for the resignation of Virginia Governor Ralph Northam after a 30 year old photo of him on his medical school yearbook photo was widely distributed.

"And if these accusations are determined to be true, I don't think he's going to have any other option but to resign", Northam said.

The controversy began when a conservative website earlier this month publicized Northam's page in the 1984 Eastern Virginia Medical School yearbook where a photo of two people - one in blackface and the other in a KKK uniform - holding beers are included with photos of Northam.

Northam at first admitted he was in the picture, then denied it a day later, but acknowledged he wore blackface to look like Michael Jackson for a dance contest in 1984.

Mr Northam was asked why he initially apologised for the photo before backtracking and denying he was either in the picture.

"Well, again, we have worked very hard".

President Donald Trump weighed in Sunday morning, tweeting "African Americans are very angry at the double standard on full display in Virginia!"

- The Virginia NAACP Executive Committee is defending Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax, as two women have come forward with allegations of sexual assault. They have been more forgiving of Attorney General Mark Herring, largely because he came forward on his own to admit having performed in blackface at a 1980 college party, rather than waiting for someone else to accuse him.

Another black lawmaker, who he also declined to name, made a powerful point about white privilege, Northam said: That a white person who makes a mistake gets a second chance, while a black person might not.


Northam faces calls to resign from Democrats at home and in Washington, D.C., as well as from advocacy groups that supported his 2017 election and from about half of Virginians, according to a Post-Schar School poll. After the second allegation was made Friday, Fairfax - the second African-American to ever win statewide office - was barraged with demands to step down from top Democrats, including a number of presidential hopefuls and most of Virginia's congressional delegation.

Attorneys for a woman who has accused Virginia's embattled lieutenant governor of sexual assault say their client is "prepared to testify at impeachment proceedings and to cooperate with law enforcement in any investigation".

Fairfax, 39, has said his encounter with a woman who accused him of forcing himself on her sexually in Boston in 2004 was entirely consensual. Of Herring, he said that "just like me, he has grown".

It went on to say Fairfax was cooperating in the investigation.

Watson alleges that Fairfax raped her while they were students at Duke University in 2000, her attorney said in a statement.

Still, "a clear sign of the depth of LG Fairfax's political crisis is the near-absence of voices in Virginia politics this weekend publicly urging him to remain in office", University of Mary Washington political science professor Stephen Farnsworth said in an email.

"When I was confronted with the images yesterday I was appalled that they appeared on my page", Northam said during a press conference on February 2, "but I believe then and now, that I am not either of the people in that photo".

Northam disappeared from the public spotlight much last week, as national discussion over the state's various scandals grew.

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