NAACP president calls on Northam to resign, says he should have disclosed racist photo

NAACP president calls on Northam to resign, says he should have disclosed racist photo

NAACP President Derrick Johnson said Sunday that Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) should resign following the revelation that his medical school yearbook page featured a photo of a man in blackface and another in a Ku Klux Klan robe.

Johnson, appearing on ABC's "This Week," said Northam should resign even if he isn't in the photo because he never previously disclosed its existence.

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“He finished medical school, received a yearbook with a racist picture on his page in the yearbook and he has said nothing about it," Johnson said. 

"Whether he actively participated or passively was present, he not one time up until this point acknowledged that this took place, objected to that behavior, or stated that, ‘I had a different upbringing and I was part of a southern culture that embraced this racist, vile behavior and I’m a changed man now,' " he added.

Johnson added that the "most effective way" to address past mistakes is to proactively disclose them. 

“You and I have both seen individuals seeking public office who have proactively disclosed errors in the past. None of us are perfect. Many of us have had issues in the past," Johnson said.

"The most effective way to address this is disclose early, acknowledge it and seek ways in which you can make amends to the community that’s offended and begin to work hard to heal any injuries that have been caused," he continued.

Northam on Saturday denied being in the photo, which was released Friday by The Virginian-Pilot.

He has faced calls to resign from a range of current and former lawmakers, including both U.S. senators from the commonwealth, the Democratic Party of Virginia and a range of 2020 presidential hopefuls.