Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Northam Apologizes for 'Clearly Racist' Yearbook Photo

Northam's yearbook page

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam has apologized for what he called a “clearly racist” yearbook photo from 1984. The photo shows a person in blackface and someone else in a Klu Klux Klan costume.

Northam called the costumes “clearly racist and offensive,” but he didn’t say which one he wore. He said he was deeply sorry for the decision to appear in the photo.

Virginia’s Republican party has called for Northam’s resignation. The photo was first published on Friday afternoon by the right-wing blog Big League Politics and later confirmed by WCVE. It comes from a page of Northam’s Eastern Virginia Medical School school yearbook and also shows him posing next to a car and in a cowboy hat. 

The photos come on the heels of a bad week for Northam and Virginia Democrats.

It began when freshmen Del. Kathy Tran (D-Springfield) defended legislation she sponsored that would have loosened up third trimester emergency abortions. 

A video of Gilbert's exchange with Tran went viral, provoking outrage among conservatives and death threats against Tran. Northam's defense of Tran only deepened conservatives' animosity against the pediatriacian, with some claiming Northam was championing infanticide.

This is a developing story.


Ben Paviour covers courts and criminal justice for VPM News with a focus on accountability.
Related Stories