The Washington Post editorial board is calling on embattled Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam to resign over the way he’s handled the controversy surrounding a racist photo on his medical school yearbook page.
While the board commended his record of public service, they argued that “his governorship has been irredeemably wrecked by the self-inflicted, racially callous and clueless mess he has made in recent days.”
They called out Northam for changing his story about the photo—first apologizing for appearing in the image that showed one person in blackface and the other dressing as a member of the Ku Klux Klan, then later denying that he is either person.
The editorial board called it “reasonable” that Northam said he would hire a private investigator to get to the bottom of the photo, but then after his “tone-deaf news conference” on Saturday, has been heard from no more.
Facts do matter, and the ones surrounding the Northam fiasco remain unsettled and unanswered. First and foremost among the questions they raise: How could he possibly have admitted to something as damning as appearing in the photo if he was certain he wasn’t one of the people in it? How did that photo wind up on his page if he didn’t furnish it to the yearbook editors? What do the governor’s now-you-see-it-now-you-don’t statements say about his judgment? The explanations Mr. Northam has proffered are vague and unconvincing. Virginians deserve better. Mr. Northam’s time is up. (WaPo)
While acknowledging the scandals currently surrounding Democratic Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax and Attorney General Mark R. Herring, the board said those cases must be judged separately on their “own set of circumstances.”
“In the case of Mr. Northam, the circumstances are decisive; what’s done cannot be undone,” the board argued. “He must go.”