In an effort to pacify the liberal mob calling for his job, Governor of Virginia Ralph Northam addressed reporters yesterday and denied that he was one of the students in the blackface and Klansman image that went viral this week.
Although he had previously admitted he was in the photo, he now seems to think that by denying it, he can come off clean.
He also admitted that he had previously dressed in blackface for a school dance competition.
“Northam said he ‘vividly’ remembers dressing up in blackface to imitate Michael Jackson at a talent show in 1984 and that this memory solidified his belief that he wasn’t photographed in his yearbook dressed in black face or in a Klan outfit.
“But when asked a question by reporter, he couldn’t remember the artist’s name and relied on his wife, Pam, to whisper his name.”
“I dressed up in a … what’s his name, the singer? Michael Jackson. Excuse me. That’s why I have Pam with me,” he said.
While explaining that he used shoe polish to don blackface, the governor quipped whether anyone at the conference had done the same.
Many people argue that his entire mindset is tainted, and that his history of bigoted racism leads him to believe other people had actually done something similar.
“I used just a little bit of shoe polish to put on my cheeks and the reason I used a very little bit because – I don’t know if anyone’s ever tried that – you cannot get shoe polish off,” he said. “But it was a dance contest. I had always liked Michael Jackson. I actually won the contest because I had learned to do the Moonwalk.”
“My main nickname in high school and in college was ‘Goose’ because when my voice was changing, I would change an octave. There were two individuals, as best as I can recollect, at VMI they were a year ahead of me. They called me ‘Coonman’. I don’t know their motives or intent. I know who they are. That was the extent of that. And it ended up in the yearbook. And I regret that.”
Northam claimed he just realized that blackface was offensive during his campaign.
“I have a very close friend who was my assistant during the campaign. He really did a good job of communicating to me why that’s so offensive. And it was actually during that conversation, I said, ‘You know, Seth, I put some shoe polish on my face, I competed in a dance contest dressed up as Michael Jackson. And I said, ‘I assume you probably would think that’s offensive.’
He said, ‘I would.’ And I said, ‘You know what, Seth, I appreciate you being open with me. I apologize for what I’ve done in the past. And I can promise you I’ll never do that again in the future.’”
Northam claimed it was a knee-jerk reaction when he admitted in writing this week that he was one of the people in the yearbook photo.
“I didn’t study it as well as I should. The first comment I made to the individual that showed it to me, I said this can’t be me.”
“My word is important to me and my first intention … was to reach out and apologize. As you might imagine and understand, there are a lot of people that are hurt by this and I wanted to reach out to them. After I did that last night, I sat and looked at the picture. Today, I’ve had the opportunity to talk to classmates, my roommate and I am convinced that is not my picture.”
When a reporter asked Northam if he could still do the moonwalk it looked like he might give a demonstration, but his wife stopped him.
“My wife says, ‘inappropriate circumstances,’” he said.
It looks like Northam is going down.