Virginia Gov. Northam reportedly tells staff he will not resign over blackface photo
Critics: Ralph Northam can’t possibly come up with another way to explain himself out of the yearbook mess.
Northam: Hold my beer.
The embattled Virginia governor says he’s certain he’s not one of the two men shown in a racist photo in his 1984 medical school yearbook — because the men in the photo are holding beers in their right hands while he’s left-handed.
Northam, who initially apologized for the racist photo, but later backtracked and said he doesn’t believe he’s actually in it, has been fighting for his political life ever since the picture showing a man in blackface and a man in Ku Klux Klan garb emerged Feb. 1.
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Most top Democrats and his party have issued statements calling for him to resign amid the controversy, but Northam insists on his innocence and is trying to convince others that the picture was added to the yearbook by mistake and doesn’t feature him.
Northam’s left hand-versus-right hand theory was reported by BuzzFeed.
Northam reportedly told his staff that the photo struck him as odd because, while attending the medical school, he particularly had trouble using his right hand and even struggled to use a scalpel with it.
He claimed that his left hand is his dominant hand and pointed out that another picture in the yearbook shows him holding a beer with his left hand.
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But the latest theory isn’t convincing many on social media, with many users noting that Northam, even while being left-handed, has been pictured comfortably using his right hand, including to hold beer and sign bills.
Northam, who admitted wearing blackface as part of a Michael Jackson costume in a different instance the same year, is looking for ways to withstand the calls to resign by coming up with policy initiatives that tackle Virginia’s history of racism.
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He’s also begun a learning process and started reading works written by black Americans, according to the outlet. The books include the 1976 Alex Haley novel “Roots” in addition to the Ta-Nehisi Coates 2014 essay “The Case for Reparations.”