In what's fast becoming the farcical story of the year, VA Gov. Ralph Northam has backtracked on comments he made Friday when he admitted he was one of two people, in a 1984 Eastern Virginia Medical School yearbook, who were clad in racially-provocative costumes.
In the image - on Northam's yearbook page, two people stand side-by-side, one sporting 'blackface,' and the other, in the infamous Ku Klux Klan white robe. The picture was posted to Northam's Twitter account on Friday, with the 59 year-old veteran of the United States Army immediately apologizing "for the decision I made to appear as I did in this photo and for the hurt that decision caused then and now."
I’m at EVMS in Norfolk, Virginia (Gov. Ralph Northam graduated here). These are photos from the 1984 yearbook, including @GovernorVA Ralph Northam’s page, in a yearbook provided by the library. I’ve asked the governor’s office for comment.
However, in a news conference Saturday afternoon, he went back on his apology, claiming neither of the people in the image was him, even arguing that he was in San Antonio that year, participating in a dance competition.
Unfortunately, for Northam, he made a series of remarks that only served to cast doubt over his 'credibility.'
At said dance competition, Northam alleged he used shoe polish to darken his face to appear like his idol Michael Jackson. "I certainly take responsibility for what happened in San Antonio," he said. "I have learned from that."
Northam also refused to step-down from his post, stating it'd be the easy way out. Instead he asked for forgiveness, citing the behavior was not representative of the values he upheld while in the military.
In an even more bizarre turn, when questioned on his expertise of all-things M.J., the Med grad appeared to scan the floor of the Executive Mansion (home of the press conference) to attempt Jackson's iconic 'Moonwalk.'
I can't believe Ralph Northam briefly considered demonstrating the Moonwalk in a press conference as a way to prove he dressed in blackface as Michael Jackson for a dance contest in the '80s in order to convince folks he didn't appear in blackface in a photo on his yearbook page.
Fortunately, for the sake of his own career - but, perhaps the disappointment of meme junkies across the globe, Northam's wife intervened, reminding him that perhaps the circumstances were not so appropriate.
Politicians on both the Democratic and Republican spectrum vilified the Governor's behavior, with DNC Chair Tom Perez calling for Northam to resign, citing a recent conversation led him to believe that, "Virginians and people across the country deserve better from their leaders, and it is clear that Ralph Northam has lost their trust and his ability to govern."
JUST IN: DNC Chair Tom Perez calls for Gov. Northam to resign: "Virginians and people across the country deserve better from their leaders, and it is clear that Ralph Northam has lost their trust and his ability to govern." pic.twitter.com/rvgWHrtXB5