Northam won’t resign; claims ‘honest conversation’ about racism only possible if he stays governor

I didn’t know it wasn’t me.

[…]

I just felt like it was important, that I needed to reach out, to put out a statement.

[…]

It has taken time for me to be sure it wasn’t me, but I am sure it’s not me in that picture.

How does Northam know it wasn’t him in the photo? Well, since he “darkened” his skin for a Michael Jackson dance contest San Antonio once, he’d remember if he wore blackface that other time. He also attempted to “contrast” how his King of Pop facepaint was less appalling and offensive than the yearbook photo. 

But since he “vividly doesn’t remember” doing blackface for the yearbook photo, which he repeatedly called “blackfacing,” then it didn’t happen.

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He also cheerfully explained that he only used a little shoe polish, due to the challenges of removing shoe polish from white skin.

What he did not explain was why he had such detailed knowledge of shoe polish removal from white skin. (Previous experience with it, mayhaps?)

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Northam, who was elected governor in 2017, prompted widespread calls for his resignation (including from Daily Kos) after he admitted Friday that he was, indeed, pictured in the grotesque image.

I am deeply sorry for the decision I made to appear as I did in this photo and for the hurt that decision caused then and now.

It was also discovered that, while an undergraduate student at Virginia Military Institute in 1981, one of nicknames he embraced included an anti-black racial slur. In Saturday’s appearance, Northam insisted he had no idea why his classmates called him that.

You’ll have to ask those individuals.

It seemed like a no-brainer that Northam would resign for the good of his constituents, particularly the roughly 20% African American residents of the Commonwealth, the bulk of whom helped him defeat Tom Perriello and assume leadership in 2017.

By any standards that aren’t based upon excusing racism, Northam’s resignation should have come Friday, and seemed imminent Saturday morning. Instead, the circus was extended till the afternoon after Northam offered a brain-bending flip flop on his own admission and acknowledgment of his participation in the appalling party and photo shoot. In addition to changing his story about the photo yet again, Northam doubled down on his refusal to resign.

Reactions to Northam’s statement Saturday were swift and far from favorable. First, let’s hear from Virginia’s Legislative Black Caucus, which didn’t even wait for the end of Northam’s circus to “amplify” their call for his resignation.

DNC Chair Tom Perez also demanded Northam’s resignation, within seconds of the end of the press conference.

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It looks like Northam is sticking to his unapologetic and increasingly unbelievable guns; sadly, a shockingly large group of supporters (even here on this site) are sticking right there with him.

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