Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam is being called upon to resign by fellow Virginia Democrats after a photograph from his medical school yearbook page surfaced of a man in blackface standing next to another man in a Klu Klux Klan costume.
Northam released a statementon Friday apologizing for appearing in the photo. One day later, he walked back his statement during a press conference Saturday and claimed that he was not actually the person in the photo, though he did admit to donning blackface once for a Michael Jackson costume he wore to a Jackson themed dance party. As of Monday, Northam has said he will not resign from office.
Reverend Irene Monroe, a syndicated religion columnist and visiting researcher in the Religion and Conflict Transformation Program at Boston University School of Theology, and Reverend Emmett Price, the founding executive director of the Institute for the Study of the Black Christian Experience at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, both told Boston Public Radio that they believe Northam will inevitably decide to resign from office.
“He is out the door, there is no questions about it,” said Price. Price thinks Northam is biding his time as he tries to find a way to maintain any semblance of authority during this scandal. “He is just trying to figure out how can he salvage the rest of his career.”
Monroe contextualized the photo by acknowledging Virginia's history of racism, including its confederate past and 2017's Neo-Nazi protests in Charlottesville.
“If he was taking this seriously, he would understand the importance of relinquishing his post immediately,” said Monroe. “He will leave, and he will moon walk out,” she continued.