FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (9:55 am, February 2, 2019)
The yearbook photograph of Governor Ralph Northam that went viral yesterday is outrageously offensive and deeply troubling. Excuses that this might simply have been a youthful indiscretion or happened in an era when race relations in the South were different fail to recognize that this was apparently published in 1984, not 1954, and that the Governor was in his mid-twenties and in medical school at the time.
In an era of instantaneous news and reaction, it usually makes sense to carefully consider the best course of action, and to gather facts and perspectives to ensure that haste does not overtake good judgment. Like my fellow Democrats in the General Assembly, I knew we needed to make space for the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus to meet with the Governor and determine their course of action. It is now clear that while the Governor has done many good things in his career, and has been fighting for those most in need throughout his public life, he has lost the moral high ground at the core of his leadership. It makes it almost impossible for him to govern. I say this with the heaviest of hearts, but his ability to make further progress on his promises to Virginians has been so severely compromised that the best course for the Commonwealth is for him to resign.
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