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Northam Pressured to Decline Invitation to Historically Black University

AP Photo/Steve Helber

It may have slipped your mind with all the Jussie Smollett headlines, but Virginia's Democratic leadership is still in the midst of scandal. A few weeks after the racist photo in Gov. Ralph Northam's medical school yearbook surfaced, he was pressured to back out of an appearance at Virginia Union University, a predominantly black school. The university had invited Northam to join the ceremony honoring the Richmond 34, a group of students who participated in a nonviolent sit-in at the lunch counter of Thalhimers department store in Richmond, Virginia. But, the Student Government Association sent him a letter requesting that, in light of recent events, he postpone his visit.


After reading the letter, Northam has decided that it's in the best of interest of all if he declines the invitation. Instead, he said he's inviting the Richmond 34 to his home.

When the racist photo in Northam's yearbook, which showed one person dressed in blackface and another in a KKK robe, was first discovered, he apologized for it. But, upon several hours' reflection, the governor backtracked and said he wasn't sure he was in the picture. Still, several of his fellow lawmakers demanded he resign.


Sensing he was about to face his own media firestorm, Attorney General Mark Herring admitted that he too dressed in blackface in college. 

Meanwhile, the lieutenant governor, Justin Fairfax, is also being pressured to resign due to multiple sexual assault allegations.


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