Congressional Black Caucus calls on Northam to resign: ‘An apology now isn’t enough’

Congressional Black Caucus calls on Northam to resign: ‘An apology now isn’t enough’
© Greg Nash

The Congressional Black Caucus 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.

“Maya Angelou once said ‘when you know better, you do better.’ Ralph Northam has had three decades to know better but only now does he acknowledge this racist act. An apology now isn't enough. He must resign,” the caucus tweeted. 

Northam apologized Friday for appearing in the picture from his medical school yearbook in 1984, though he did not clarify if he was wearing blackface or the KKK robe.


“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,” he said in a statement.

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

The Virginia governor quickly faced a cavalcade of bipartisan calls for his resignation.

“We are still processing what we have seen about the Governor but unequivocally say that what has been revealed is disgusting, reprehensible, and offensive. We feel complete betrayal. The legacy of slavery, racism, and Jim Crow has been an albatross around the necks of African Americans for over 400 years,” the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus (VLBC) said in an initial statement

“These pictures rip off the scabs of an excruciatingly painful history and are a piercing reminder of this nation’s sins. Those who would excuse the pictures are just as culpable.”

The VLBC put out a second statement Friday night saying they had met with Northam but confirmed they believed “it is time for him to resign.” 

The Virginia governor has so far resisted calls for his resignation.

“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 and living up to the expectations you set for me when you elected me to serve,” Northam said in a video posted on his Twitter late Friday.