Published: Mon, February 04, 2019
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

Senior Democrats press Virginia governor to resign over racist photo

Senior Democrats press Virginia governor to resign over racist photo

In a tweet on Saturday, President Donald Trump weighed in on proceedings, calling Mr Northam's actions related to the photo and abortion debate "unforgivable!"

Dr. Richard V. Homan said he will direct an external investigation by a "panel of advocates for diversity and inclusion".

Many African-Americans see his refusal as displaying a sense of entitlement, casting aside hurt and harm over an incident that aligns him with the darker side of the commonwealth's complicated racial legacy. The image has led to a torrent of calls for his resignation.

Northam said he won't quit during a televised press conference on Saturday at the state Executive Mansion in Richmond to address what he earlier called a "clearly racist and offensive" photograph on his medical school yearbook page from 1984 that surfaced on Friday.

"My first intention. was to reach out and apologise", he said, adding that he recognised that people would be offended by the photo.

The governor later admitted he once used shoe polish to put on blackface as part of a Michael Jackson costume for a 1984 dance contest in Texas while he was in the army.

"I am not the person in the photo that caused a stir yesterday", Northam said.

After he spoke, both of Virginia's USA senators said they called Northam to tell him that he must resign, as he had "irrevocably broken the trust Virginians must have in their leaders".

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