Ralph Northam in a statement said Saturday that while he was not in a racist picture in his 1984 medical yearbook, he had admitted to "darkening his skin" when he participated in a Michael Jackson dance contest.
But he has lost the support of prominent Democrats in Virginia and beyond, including from the Democratic Party's historically diverse and growing field of 2020 candidates, which includes two African-American senators, Cory Booker of New Jersey and Kamala Harris of California. Judge the man on what he is doing now, now on what costume he wore and what yearbook photo he chose - or even what he may have believed about race - in 1984.
Northam has faced after multiple calls for him to resign after the yearbook image was wide spread on Friday. These pictures are wholly inappropriate. However, he later told fellow Democrats that it was not him in the picture, and that he would not resign.
Northam was scheduled to speak publicly Saturday afternoon.
Calls for his resignation quickly piled up. A CBS report revealed that a page from another yearbook, this one from Northam's time at the Virginia Military Institute listed "Coonman", a racial slur, as one of his nicknames. "Unfortunately, the existence of this photograph does not bring us together", Luria tweeted around 9 p.m. Friday night.
The photo of Northam was first published by conservative news outlet Big League Politics, but was soon authenticated by the Virginian-Pilot of Norfolk, the state's largest daily newspaper. "All elected officials are held to the highest standards and this photo is beneath that of any elected office, and especially that of a governor". The Ku Klux Klan was a terrorist--is a terrorist organization...
After the photo surfaced Friday, Northam released an apology acknowledging that he appeared in the photo, which showed one man in blackface and another dressed in KKK garb. However, they were at a loss to explain how a mix-up might have occurred that would result in the racist image being placed on his page in error, because students were responsible for submitting their own photos. 57th District Delegate Toscano Calls on Northam to Resign:"The yearbook photograph of Governor Ralph Northam that went viral yesterday is outrageously offensive and deeply troubling".
But Mr Northam appears to have virtually no path forward to remain in office without any institutional support.
"I have not seen it this bad since I was involved in the civil rights movement", she said, adding racism is "alive and well" in this country, in part because of Donald Trump's administration.
It hasn't been a good Saturday for Virginia Governor Ralph Northam.
"I'm not going to resign because it's not me in that photo", Lucas said, recalling what he told her.
Calls for his resignation came from the NAACP, the Republican Governors Association, Virginia's Republican Party and some national Democrats, including presidential hopefuls Sen. At a time when white nationalist movements are on the rise and becoming increasingly visible and openly violent, there is no room for excusing racist behavior.
The Virginia Legislative Black Caucus, which comprises African Americans elected to the state legislature, described the images as "disgusting, reprehensible and offensive".