Investigation into Northam's racist yearbook photo deemed inconclusive

Are We Finally Going to Find Out If Democrat Governor Northam Was in KKK Garb or Blackface

It's unclear who the people in the picture are, but the rest of the page is filled with pictures of Northam and lists his undergraduate alma mater and other information about him.

McGuireWoods failed to determine whether Northam is in the picture. The lack of an official exoneration is unlikely to have much effect on his situation. The backlash was immediate against the Democratic governor, prompting him to go into damage control, offering conflicting statements within hours.

The blackface content peaked in 1984 and 1985 before becoming gradually less common, with two examples of blackface in the 1984 edition besides the one on Northam's page. He initially apologized for being in the picture before reversing course and saying he was convinced he wasn't. He later changed his story, saying he did not believe he was pictured, but had performed in blackface to impersonate the singer Michael Jackson at about that time.

"I know and understand the events of early February and my response to them have caused hurt for many Virginians and for that, I am sorry", he said.

"We thank EVMS for its cooperation and responsiveness during the investigation", Richard Cullen, who led the investigation, said in a press release.

The Norfolk medical school commissioned McGuireWoods LLC to conduct an independent investigation after a conservative news outlet leaked a Nortam's 1984 EVMS yearbook page where there's a man in blackface next to someone in a Ku Klux Klan hood.

They also said they couldn't determine how the photo ended up on Northam's page but found no evidence it was put there by mistake or as a prank.

When the photo first surfaced in early February, Northam, a former pediatric neurosurgeon and Army doctor, initially confirmed he was one of the people in the yearbook photo and apologized.

"It hit me like a ton of bricks".

He said he did remember submitting the quote on the page ("There are more old drunks than old doctors in this world so I think I'll have another beer"), but couldn't remember ever seeing a proof or approving the page layout. I was rushed to ... In a February Washington Post poll, 58 percent of black residents said Northam should remain in office versus 37 percent who said he should leave.

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"With respect to the photograph on Governor Northam's personal page, we could not conclusively determine the identity of either individual depicted in the photograph", the report revealed.

Months later, he's still the governor, despite many calls from Democrats at the time for him to step down.

The picture started a wave of scandals that quickly enveloped Northam's two potential successors, both Democrats. That includes expanding Medicaid and getting long-sought funding through tax increases and other means to enlarge Interstate 81. Ralph Northam on Wednesday nonetheless acknowledged they might per chance doubtless well per chance additionally now not "conclusively decide" the identification of either particular person confirmed. "That's unfortunate. I was hopeful that some real concrete questions could get answered and unfortunately that isn't happening", says Kidd.

But the strains still show.

Homan did not respond to an inquiry on his political contributions to Northam. After Northam faced those calls to resign, Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax faced calls to resign for accusations of sexual misconduct. And just days after calling on Northam to resign, Attorney General Mark Herring announced he, too, had worn blackface in the 1980s when he was in college.

Herring had previously called on Northam to resign.

The report serves to remind voters of the damaged leader of the Democratic Party during a pivotal election year in Virginia, when Democrats had been hoping they would wrest control of the legislature from Republicans in November.

Northam's chief of staff, Clark Mercer, told investigators that the governor was "in a state of shock" when the photo first surfaced.

Gilbert also said he was concerned that leaders at the school were aware of the racist photo while Northam was running for office but did not notify the public. "I care very little about the personal life of my politicians".

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