Rep. Bobby Scott: Northam's KKK-blackface yearbook photo 'indefensible'

Rep. Bobby Scott: Northam's KKK-blackface yearbook photo 'indefensible'
© Greg Nash

Virginia Rep. Bobby ScottRobert (Bobby) Cortez ScottHouse approves bill raising minimum wage to per hour Anyone for tennis? Washington Kastles Charity Classic returns this week Liberal Democrats warn: We'll sink minimum wage bill if moderates change it MORE (D) said Friday night that Gov. Ralph Northam's (D) past behavior appearing in a photo showing blackface and a Ku Klux Klan robe is "indefensible," joining a slew of Democrats condemning the photo.

“It is never easy to condemn a personal friend, but Governor Northam’s past behavior is indefensible. I know the Governor has dedicated his life to public service, and he has advanced policies to help African Americans and Virginians from all walks of life," Scott, the chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee and member of the Congressional Black Caucus, said in a statement.

"I take him at his word that he is deeply sorry, and that he understands that his behavior was inappropriate and offensive. History will have to judge his life and public record, and this chapter will be a major stain on that record," he added.

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Scott did not explicitly call for Northam to resign, but said in his statement that "the Governor must now make the right decision that is best for the Commonwealth of Virginia.”

Several Virginia lawmakers have called for the first-term governor to step down in the wake of the photo, including Democratic Reps. Donald McEachinAston (Donale) Donald McEachinRacial politics roil Democratic Party CBC lawmakers rip Justice Democrats for targeting black lawmakers for primaries Harris hops past Biden in early race for Black Caucus support MORE⁩, Elaine LuriaElaine Goodman LuriaThe House Democrats who voted to kill impeachment effort Bipartisan group of lawmakers invites colleagues to tour DC's Holocaust museum Hopes dim for passage of Trump trade deal MORE and Alison Spanberger along with GOP Rep. Denver RigglemanDenver RigglemanCongress needs to continue fighting the opioid epidemic The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Pass USMCA Coalition - Restrictive state abortion laws ignite fiery 2020 debate Overnight Health Care: Lawmakers get deal to advance long-stalled drug pricing bill | House votes to condemn Trump's anti-ObamaCare push | Eight House Republicans join with Dems | Trump officials approve Medicaid expansion in Maine MORE⁩.

Multiple Democratic presidential candidates and other political figures from both parties have denounced the governor after a photo emerged Friday from Northam's 1984 medical school yearbook showing a man in blackface and another wearing a KKK robe.

Northam issued a statement Friday night acknowledging that he was one of the people in the photo, though he did not clarify which one.

The governor has so far resisted mounted calls to resign.

"That photo and the racist and offensive attitude it represents does not reflect the person I am today or the way I have conducted myself as a soldier, a doctor and a public servant," Northam said in a video posted on Twitter on Friday night.

"I accept responsibility for my past actions and I'm ready to do the hard work of regaining your trust. I have spent the past year as your governor fighting for a Virginia that works better for all people. I am committed to continuing that fight through the remainder of my term."