Democratic Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam’s 1984 medical school yearbook page shows two men, one in black face and the other dressed as a Ku Klux Klan member with a hood, according to the photos obtained by The Virginia Pilot.
The copy of the yearbook photo was obtained by the news agency on Friday, from the Eastern Virginia Medical School Library. It was a from a 1984 yearbook, the same year the governor graduated, according to the news agency. Although all on one of the half pages are of Northam, it is not certain if he is one of the two men in costume as their faces are not visible.
Late Friday, Northman released this statement:
“Earlier today, a website published a photograph of me from my 1984 medical school yearbook in a costume that is clearly racist and offensive,” he said. “I am deeply sorry for the decision I made to appear as I did in this photo and for the hurt that decision caused then and now.”
Northam added, “this behavior is not in keeping with who I am today and the values I have fought for throughout my career in the military, in medicine, and in public service. But I want to be clear, I understand how this decision shakes Virginians’ faith in that commitment.”
“I recognize that it will take time and serious effort to heal the damage this conduct has caused. I am ready to do that important work. The first step is to offer my sincerest apology and to state my absolute commitment to living up to the expectations Virginians set for me when they elected me to be their Governor,” he added.
Underneath the photo of Northam and the other unnamed man in costume it lists his interest in pediatrics and quotes: “There are more old drunks than old doctors in this world so I think I’ll have another beer.”
The montage photo page, which appears to be set aside for Northam who graduated that year from medical school, shows him in a cowboy hat and boots. It also has a picture of him wearing a jacket and tie, while another appears to show him sitting down and leaning against a convertible car.
A half-page from the 1984 Eastern Virginia Medical School yearbook, photographed by The Virginian-Pilot on Friday, Feb. 1, 2019.
This photo began circulating on the Internet Friday, shortly after Northam made comments supporting late term abortion.