Another racist yearbook of VA Governor Northam gets unearthed: adds to controversy

Today, it was discovered that newly-elected Virginia Governor Ralph Northam appeared in a racist photograph listed inside a yearbook from his medical school days - one appearing to show a person wearing blackface standing next to another in a Ku Klux Klan costume.

Northam issued a full apology expressing regret for the incident shortly afterwards, without acknowledging which person in the photograph he was.

Now, that scandal is getting even bigger.

CBS News has just uncovered another page from another Northam yearbook - this one is from his Virginia Military Institute days and under his name lists the nickname "Coonman," a racial slur.

It has only been a matter of a few hours, and already Democrats and Republicans alike from around the nation are calling for his resignation. That's even before the second yearbook controversy came out. Expect this to only add to the calls for him to leave office immediately.

Ironically, if Northam does decide to resign, Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax would take his place, making him the state's second African American governor. He is a descendant of slaves and recently chose to sit out in the Virginia Senate as a member paid tribute to Confederate General Robert E. Lee.

“I believe there are certain people in history we should honor that way in the Senate . . . and I don’t believe that he is one of them. I think it’s very divisive to do what was done there, particularly in light of the history that we’re now commemorating — 400 years since the first enslaved Africans came to the commonwealth of Virginia.

“And to do that in this year in particular was very hurtful to a lot of people,” Fairfax said. “It does not move us forward, it does not bring us together. And so I wanted to do my part to make it clear that I don’t condone it.”

So far, Fairfax hasn't spoken up on the yearbook issue but expect him to have to take a position sometime soon.


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