VA Gov. Northam Vows Not To Resign Amid Blackface Scandal

Virginia Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax presides over the Senate at the Virginia State Capitol

Virginia Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax presides over the Senate at the Virginia State Capitol

Their accusations followed the emergence of a racist photo on Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam's page of the 1984 Eastern Virginia Medical School yearbook.

So far, they've resisted repeated calls from around the nation to resign.

"It's been a horrific week for Virginia".

He said he is monitoring the situation involving Democratic Lieutenant-Governor Justin Fairfax, who is denying two sexual assault allegations, but that he has not made any decisions about who he might appoint as a replacement if Fairfax heeded calls to resign.

Fairfax (D) has been accused by two women of sexual assault, the newest of which he said was "demonstrably false". "And these accusations are very, very serious", he said.

"The Lieutenant Governor of Virginia presides over the Virginia Senate and must be prepared to fill the role of Governor", they said.

The tumult in Virginia began late last week, with the discovery of the photo on Northam's yearbook profile page that showed someone in blackface standing next to another person in a Ku Klux Klan hood and robe. "To do so, would violate any principles I have of faith that says a person can not change", he told AFP.

"I can only imagine that it must take tremendous courage for women to step forward and and talk about these things that are just so hurtful". It will be very positive and you know we have a number of inequities in this country right now and in Virginia. It is clear to me that he can no longer effectively serve the people of Virginia as Lieutenant Governor,"former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe tweeted Friday after Watson's allegation surfaced". The trio of controversies has thrown Virginia politics into chaos, as state Democrats look for the best way to move past the swirling issues.

"We have to remember this yearbook photo was taken after the modern civil rights movement", Mr Smithers said.

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Northam has been in seclusion all week, using tunnels to shuttle between the mansion and the nearby building where he has an office.

The blackface-related stories in particular, said Deborah McDowell, director of the university's Carter G. Woodson Institute for African American and African Studies, should be treated less as isolated incidents and more as representative of a wider culture. He said he has reflected on his own origins and tried to confront his lack of understanding.

Should Northam step down and hand the office to African-American Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, who faces sexual assault allegations? I have learned from this.

When asked Saturday night which basketball player Watson was referencing, Erin Friedlander of Evergreen Partners-the group issuing the statement on behalf of Watson-said the firm was "only providing the information contained in our statements at this time". "I nearly felt like I couldn't question him because of the urgency add the importance of what we just had on the national level".

He apologised, before backtracking the next day and declaring he was not in the photo.

Always cautious and low-key, Northam expressed no desire for radical action.

Northam told the Post that there was "no question" about whether he felt liberated by the opportunity to atone for his mistakes.

He admitted to wearing blackface to dress up as rapper Kurtis Blow in the 1980s, something that "totally shocked" and "disgusted" the artist. But he said he's in a position to lead and that "Virginia needs someone that can heal".

The governor also said in the interview that he would take "a harder line" on moving the state's Confederate monuments, which have become lightning rods for racial division, from public property into museums.

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