UPDATE – Governor Ralph Northam has hired a private detective, which is being seen as a sign that he has no plans to resign any time soon. Jonthan Martin of the New York Times confirms:
TUESDAY AM NEWS: as part of his investigation into the yearbook, @RalphNortham is planning to hire a private eye.
which is not the sort of thing somebody does if they are about to resign
— Jonathan Martin (@jmartNYT) February 5, 2019
Virginia Governor Ralph Northam continues to dig his heels in despite ongoing protests that are dialing up the heat in trying to force his resignation.
As you’re well aware from this past week’s events, Northam’s 1984 medical school yearbook page included a photo featuring an individual dressed in blackface standing next to another in KKK garb. He first admitted to being one of the people in the picture, only to later deny it.
The fact remains that the picture was on a page dedicated solely to him, and allowing it to be published without protest might be just as abhorrent.
Despite universal condemnation, Northam continues to cling to his power as governor. He convened an ‘urgent’ meeting with a group of black senior staffers on Sunday night to discuss, amongst other things, resignation as a viable option.
However, Northam carried on with a pre-scheduled Cabinet meeting early Monday morning, seeking to garner allies as the controversy continues to spread.
Virginia Gov. Northam, who has refused to resign in fallout of racist yearbook photo, is holding pre-scheduled meeting with members of his Cabinet this morning, spokesperson says; Northam has denied being in the photo after initially apologizing for being in the photo.
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) February 4, 2019
It appears Northam is doing his best to ride out the scandal in the hopes that people will forget about any racist photo he may have been a part of. But it’s not going away any time soon.
Calls For Resignation
Calls for the Virginia Governor’s resignation have come from nearly every angle, with most prominent Democrat leaders saying he can no longer govern effectively with this cloud hanging over him.
NAACP leader Derrick Johnson chimed in saying, “Blackface in any manner is always racist and never OK.”
“No matter the party affiliation, we cannot stand for such behavior,” he added, “which is why the @NAACP is calling for the resignation of Virginia Governor @RalphNortham.”
The Speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates also pushed for Northam’s resignation, though he stopped short of suggesting impeachment options should be analyzed.
The Virginia House of Delegates met Monday, honoring victims of race-based violence in the state and calling for its governor to resign.
“We hope that’s what [Northam] does. I think that would be less pain for everyone,” the speaker said, stopping short of suggesting impeachment pic.twitter.com/jerrl6wbo7
— POLITICO (@politico) February 4, 2019
Former First Lady Hillary Clinton provided her two cents, saying the matter “has gone on too long.”
“There is nothing to debate,” she asserted. “He must resign.”
Senators Tim Kaine and Mark Warner also insisted Northam resign.
Perhaps even more effective is the voice of Virginians who also feel the governor can no longer serve.
Demonstrators held signs and chanted outside the Governor’s office at the Capitol in Richmond over the weekend.
“We’re here today because we live in a state that has a history of violence and dehumanization of people of color,” one community activist announced to fellow protesters. “We’re here because the history of Jim Crow is obviously still alive and living up in the governor’s mansion.”
A few dozen protestors outside the Governor’s mansion. pic.twitter.com/kv1YbLa6kl
— Mallory Noe-Payne (@MalloryNoePayne) February 4, 2019
A few dozen more were protesting outside the Governor’s mansion on Monday, with chants for his resignation raining down.
“RALPH RESIGN! RALPH RESIGN!”
WATCH LIVE from Richmond!https://t.co/iz4pmfkftS
— Big League Politics (@bigleaguepol) February 4, 2019
The local NBC affiliate reports that protesters have “(taken) to the streets” to demand the Democrat step down from his post.
“He really felt that it was something he could simply put behind him and not address in the public arena is really troubling,” one demonstrator stated.
Is Northam right? Will he simply be able to wait it out – or will the protesters multiply in numbers until he finally walks away?