Governor Ralph Northam seems to be weathering the blackface scandal, but that doesn’t mean he won’t continue to suffer fallout from the P.R. debacle. The Virginia Southern Christian Leadership Conference is launching a statewide tour to address issues arising from revelations of a photograph of a person dressed in blackface and another in Ku Klux Klan garb on Northam’s profile page in the 1984 Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS) yearbook.
Rev. William Keen, the organization’s president, said the SCLC believes more needs to be done to investigate the controversial picture appearing on Northam’s medical yearbook page, reports WSLS television. The article provided no details on what Keen found lacking in Northam’s denials that he was the figure in blackface.
(A good place to start would be to request answers from the governor arising from new evidence that the yearbook photo shows him attired in a Michael Jackson costume.)
Meanwhile, the Richmond Free-Press, an independent newspaper geared to Richmond’s African-American community, quotes representatives of several African-American organizations as demanding the Northam atone for the racial sins he committed 35 years ago.
“He (Northam) has not been very well received by many communities,” said Valerie Slater, executive director of the Richmond-based RISE for Youth, an advocacy group that promotes community-based alternatives to incarceration. “Acknowledgment and apology are not enough. Folks are waiting to see actions, not just pure words.”
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