The chorus of prominent liberals and progressives demanding the resignation of Virginia Governor Ralph Northam is resounding. Last Friday, images circulated from Northam’s 1984 medical school yearbook page showing two people in racist garb, one in blackface and the other in a Klansman costume.
After initially apologizing for the image, the Democrat has since claimed that neither of the people pictured is him — although Northam added he did wear blackface on another occasion, as part of a Michael Jackson costume. (At a bizarre press conference Saturday, Northam appeared ready to back up this story by performing the moonwalk.)
Northam’s bungled reaction and unwillingness to take accountability for the racist material on his personal yearbook pages (separately, a college yearbook referred to his nickname, “Coonman,” a variation of a racist slur) has everyone from the head of the NAACP to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi calling for him to step down.
Below is a Who’s Who of former allies who want to see Northam retired:
Former Virginia Governor L. Douglas Wilder (the first elected black governor in the U.S.)
I stated, earlier, that Gov. Northam’s continuing in office was his choice to make. It is difficult for anyone who watched the press conference today to conclude that he has any other choice … but to resign.
— L. Douglas Wilder (@GovernorWilder) February 3, 2019
Virginia Senator Tim Kaine
I no longer believe Governor Northam can effectively serve as Governor of Virginia. The events of the past 24 hours have inflicted immense pain and irrevocably broken the trust Virginians must have in their leaders. He should step down and allow the Commonwealth to begin healing.
— Tim Kaine (@timkaine) February 3, 2019
Virginia Senator Mark Warner and Rep. Bobby Scott
— Rep. Bobby Scott (@BobbyScott) February 2, 2019
Former Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe
The situation that he has put himself and the Commonwealth of Virginia in is untenable. It's time for Ralph to step down, and for the Commonwealth to move forward.
— Terry McAuliffe (@TerryMcAuliffe) February 2, 2019
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi
The photo is racist and contrary to fundamental American values. I join my colleagues in Virginia calling on Governor Northam to do the right thing so that the people of the Commonwealth of Virginia can heal and move forward.
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) February 2, 2019
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
This has gone on too long. There is nothing to debate. He must resign. https://t.co/TjfS3vbcws
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) February 3, 2019
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer
I agree. It’s past time. Governor Northam should resign so Virginia can move forward. https://t.co/QLZgnhdwCI
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) February 4, 2019
Former Vice President Joe Biden
There is no place for racism in America. Governor Northam has lost all moral authority and should resign immediately, Justin Fairfax is the leader Virginia needs now.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) February 2, 2019
NAACP President Derrick Johnson
We are deeply disappointed in Governor @RalphNortham's failure to take accountability today. Using shoe polish on his face in any form to mimic Michael Jackson showcases his lack of awareness of the discrimination against Black people. We stand by our call for his resignation.
— Derrick Johnson (@DerrickNAACP) February 2, 2019
California Senator and presidential candidate Kamala Harris
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.
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) February 2, 2019
New Jersey Senator and presidential candidate Cory Booker
These images arouse centuries of anger, anguish, and racist violence and they’ve eroded all confidence in Gov. Northam’s ability to lead. We should expect more from our elected officials. He should resign.
— Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) February 2, 2019
New York Senator and presidential candidate Kirsten Gillibrand
There aren’t two sets of rules for our friends and our foes: Right is right and wrong is wrong. Americans deserve to be respected by their leaders, and racism cannot be excused in our government or anywhere else. Having seen the photo, I believe Governor Northam should resign.
— Kirsten Gillibrand (@SenGillibrand) February 2, 2019
Massachusetts Senator and presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren
NEW: Just got a statement from @ewarren on Northam:
"These racist images are deeply disturbing. Hatred and discrimination have no place in our country and must not be tolerated, especially from our leaders— Republican or Democrat. Northam must resign."
— Steadman™ (@AsteadWesley) February 2, 2019
Former HUD Secretary and presidential candidate Julián Castro
It doesn’t matter if he is a Republican or a Democrat. This behavior was racist and unconscionable. Governor Northam should resign.
— Julián Castro (@JulianCastro) February 2, 2019
Progressive billionaire Tom Steyer
My statement on Governor Ralph Northam pic.twitter.com/xVa9TCzePU
— Tom Steyer (@TomSteyer) February 2, 2019
Former Attorney General Eric Holder
I have come to know Ralph Northam as a good, very decent man. I regretfully conclude that he does not now have the ability to effectively govern and effectively stand for the issues – moral and political – that Virginia and the nation must confront. The Governor should resign.
— Eric Holder (@EricHolder) February 2, 2019
New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
Northam must resign, and those who try to help him stumble past this deserve scrutiny.
If you can’t understand how painful + eroding this is to American society, let alone the state of Virginia, take some time to read up this weekend.
To start, try “Between the World and Me.” https://t.co/Fm0srrPZgN
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) February 3, 2019
The Congressional Black Caucus
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. https://t.co/DwV9lEFcV6
— Black Caucus (@OfficialCBC) February 2, 2019
— Planned Parenthood (@PPFA) February 2, 2019
NARAL President Ilyse Hogue
Please stop talking and resign. Prolonging won't change the outcome. https://t.co/95mYhXfqQ5
— ilyse hogue (@ilyseh) February 2, 2019