NAACP calls on Northam to resign over blackface photo

NAACP calls on Northam to resign over blackface photo
© Greg Nash

The NAACP called on Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) to resign Friday after he admitted he appeared in a picture showing a man wearing blackface and another dressed in a Ku Klux Klan robe.

“Black face in any manner is always racist and never okay. No matter the party affiliation, we can not stand for such behavior, which is why the @NAACP is calling for the resignation of Virginia Governor @RalphNortham,” NAACP President Derrick Johnson tweeted.

Northam apologized Friday for appearing in the picture from his medical school yearbook, though he did not clarify if he was wearing blackface or the KKK robe.

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“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,” Northam said in a statement.

The photo obtained by The Virginian-Pilot on Friday came from the 1984 yearbook housed in the Eastern Virginia Medical School library.

The Virginia governor quickly faced mounting, bipartisan calls for his resignation.

“Leaders are called to a higher standard, and the stain of racism should have no place in the halls of government. The Governor of Virginia should step aside so the public can heal and move forward together,” Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisJulián Castro: Trump should be impeached for trying to obstruct justice 'in very concrete ways' Poll: Buttigieg tops Harris, O'Rourke as momentum builds Trump Jr. slams 2020 Dems as 'more concerned' about rights of murderers than legal gun owners MORE (D-Calif.), one of two African-Americans so far running for president in 2020, tweeted.

“It doesn’t matter if he is a Republican or a Democrat. This behavior was racist and unconscionable. Governor Northam should resign,” Julián Castro, another Democratic 2020 presidential candidate, said. 

“What Ralph Northam did was unforgivable. Given his statements on the right to life coupled with the most recent revelations, he has lost the moral authority to continue to govern and should resign immediately,” the Virginia Republican Party added.