An apologetic but defiant Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam refused calls to resign Saturday from his own state party and nearly every major Democratic presidential contender after a picture on his medical school yearbook page surfaced showing a picture of two men dressed as a Ku Klux Klansman and in blackface. “I believe then and now that I am not either of the people in that photo,” Northam said, adding that “I recognize that many people will find this difficult to believe” because the day before he admitted he was in the picture.
Northam said that, as he “reflected” with family and former classmates, he came to “vividly” believe he wasn’t in the picture. He said he never owned the 1984 yearbook or saw it until Friday. But he also admitted that, in the same year, he darkened his face with shoe polish to look like Michael Jackson in a talent show. He even discussed the difficulties of removing shoe polish from his skin and mentioned he won the contest because he mastered the Moonwalk dance.
Northam now appears to be trying to get ahead of other damaging stories, says he once “darkened his face” as Michael Jackson for Halloween.
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) February 2, 2019
“I’m not sure that was me in blackface, but let me tell you about this other time I dressed in blackface.”
— Sleeping Giants (@slpng_giants) February 2, 2019