By Jon Dougherty, editor-in-chief
Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam continued to take heat Saturday for a racist photo in his medical school yearbook from 1984 depicting one person in blackface and another in full KKK hood and robe, but now he says that he doesn’t believe either of those people are him.
After initially apologizing for the radically offensive photo Friday, which intimated that he was one of the two people in the picture, less than 24 hours later he appears to be backtracking.
“When I was confronted with the images yesterday, I was appalled that they appeared on my page but I believe then and now that I am not either of the people in that photo,” he said.
Later he added, “When my staff showed me the photo in question yesterday, I was seeing it for the first time I did not purchase the EVMS yearbook and I was unaware of what was on my page.”
So which is it, Gov. Northam? If you didn’t think “then or now” that was you in the photo, how could you have just become aware of it?
BREAKING: “When I was confronted with the images yesterday, I was appalled that they appeared on my page, but I believe then and now that I am not either of the people in that photo,” Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam says about racist yearbook photo. https://t.co/tlUh2mGeAZ pic.twitter.com/mPeqxEQqoR
— CNN (@CNN) February 2, 2019
There’s also this. The Washington Post, in a snippet buried deep in a Friday story reporting on Northam’s burgeoning scandal, noted that the yearbook staff at the university, Eastern Virginia Medical School, left it up to students to select the photos for their own page:
Joan Naidorf, whose husband’s yearbook page is opposite Northam’s in the yearbook, said she was surprised the photos are only now coming out, given Northam’s stature in Virginia politics.
“We’ve often wondered over the last 10 years or so why someone didn’t dig this up sooner,” said Naidorf, a nonpracticing emergency room physician who lives in Alexandria.
She said that when she first saw the photo, shortly after the yearbook was published, “I thought: ‘That’s awful.’ I assumed it was something at a drunken frat party.”
She said she didn’t know when or where the photos were taken. Her husband, Tobin, wasn’t available Friday. He met Northam a few times when they worked medical rotations together but weren’t friends, Joan Naidorf said.
Eastern Virginia Medical School allowed students to pick their own photos for their yearbook page, Naidorf said. Her husband chose their engagement photo and other personal pictures. Another student chose a picture of men in blackface and dressed as women in what appears to be a variety-show routine.
Conservative activist, pundit, author, and former Secret Service agent Dan Bongino said Friday in a tweet that he had been sent the picture last year but that he didn’t do anything with it.
“I was sent the disgusting photo of Northam in Oct, 2018. I was not able to independently verify that the photo was of Northam therefore I did not publish the story. But, this indicates that the photo was probably known about by others who may have squashed it for political reasons,” he wrote.
I was sent the disgusting photo of Northam in Oct, 2018. I was not able to independently verify that the photo was of Northam therefore I did not publish the story. But,this indicates that the photo was probably known about by others who may have squashed it for political reasons
— Dan Bongino (@dbongino) February 2, 2019
Between Bongino’s statement and those of Ms. Naidorf, it’s obvious that Northam was living on borrowed time, politically. What’s also noteworthy is that, once again, a rising star Democrat is exposed as a racist descendant from a party with a long, disturbing history of such behavior.
Follow Jon Dougherty on Twitter at @JonDougherty10
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