At this point, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam should be chased from office for continuing to treat voters like they’re a bunch of credulous idiots.
If you had dressed up as a Klansman or put on blackface for a costume party when you were a 24-year-old student, would you remember the incident? Smearing black makeup all over your face to look like Michael Jackson or draping yourself in a white sheet to cosplay a racist cross-burner—even way back in 1984 Virginia—wasn’t just another Saturday night out drinking with friends. It would take a bit of effort. It might be noticed. It might even make the yearbook.
If someone accused me of attending a costume party dressed as a member of the Schutzstaffel, I would be exceptionally confident in my answer. Yet Northam couldn’t initially recall if he was the one wearing blackface or the one wearing the KKK robe in the 1984 Eastern Virginia Medical School yearbook photo with his name attached—which is definitely a weird thing to be unsure about.
In any event, Northam admitted to being in the picture. “I am deeply sorry for the decision I made to appear as I did in this photo,” he admitted (italics mine.) Soon he walked back that statement only admitted to once “darkening his face” to look like Jackson—maybe in his yearbook photo; maybe not.
Northam promised to investigate his own behavior, and after a report by the school was released yesterday, the governor now says he is surely “not in the racist and offensive photo that appears under my name.”