Alabama governor says she won't resign over blackface skit

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey (R) said Tuesday that she will not resign over revelations that she appeared in blackface during a skit when she was in college, but reiterated her apology over the incident. 

“Heavens no, I’m not going to resign. It’s something that happened 52 years ago and I’m not that person. My administration stands on being inclusive and helping people,” Ivey said in her first public appearance since her apology, The Associated Press reported.

Ivey, in a statement to The Hill last week, admitted to wearing blackface and overalls in a skit during a Baptist Student Union party. Her then-fiancée, Ben LaRavia, in a 1967 radio interview had recounted her appearance in the skit. Her office released the audio after it was found by Auburn University officials. 

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The Alabama NAACP reiterated its call Tuesday for Ivey to resign, noting actions she has taken as governor such as signing legislation that would protect Confederate monuments, according to the AP. 

“The NAACP believes Governor Ivey needs to do the right thing and resign as Governor and let someone lead the people of Alabama into a brighter and more inclusive future, not the status quo,” Alabama NAACP President Benard Simelton told the wire service in a statement. 

The organization also said the governor should consider policies like Medicaid expansion to “level the playing field in areas of education, and healthcare.”

Ivey said in her statement last week that she didn't “recall either the skit, which evidently occurred at a Baptist Student Union party, or the interview itself.”

“Even though Ben is the one on tape remembering the skit — and I still don’t recall ever dressing up in overalls or in blackface — I will not deny what is the obvious,” she added. “As such, I fully acknowledge — with genuine remorse — my participation in a skit like that back when I was a senior in college."

Revelations that Ivey appeared in such a skit follow a similar admission earlier this year from Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D), who said he darkened his face to dress as Michael Jackson.