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He Knew? Staffer Who Worked On Northam Yearbook Says Photos Were Personally Submitted

AP Photo/Steve Helber

Virginia Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam’s political career is on life support. He’s already besieged by virtually everyone to step down. Almost everyone in the Democratic Party has called for him to resign after a racist photo on his yearbook page was revealed last Friday. It’s from his days at Eastern Virginia Medical School back in 1984.


The picture shows two people in racist costumes, one is in a full-blown Klan outfit while the other is in blackface. Northam released a statement apologizing for the photo, admitting he was in the picture though he did not specify which costume he reportedly wore. And then, he retracted the apology, said that wasn’t him but he did admit to doing blackface for a dance competition in Texas. He was Michael Jackson. So, it’s not like Northam is scot-free here. He decided to get ahead of a story where he did engage in antics we now consider racist, but he’s a Democrat. There are different rules concerning accountability. He’s refused to resign. On top of that, Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax is now embroiled in a sexual assault allegation in which Northam’s camp is being accused by the LG’s office of leaking the matter to the press. All of this is part of a game to prevent Fairfax from succeeding Northam clean should he resign. Yeah, in a single weekend, this administration collapsed, shots were fired inside the ship, and it’s not going away. 

Fairfax’s accuser has sought the assistance of the law firm that helped Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who lobbed sexual misconduct allegations against now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Both Fairfax and Kavanaugh’s allegations are thin on evidence. And by thin, I mean nothing can be corroborated, which is why The Washington Post and other Virginia news outlets didn’t run this story. Kavanaugh was subjected to a different set of rules. As for Northam, well, he could be cooked. A staffer for the yearbook said that each student in a sealed envelope personally submitted the photos, the envelopes were kept under lock and key, and that “nobody complained that their picture was under the wrong person.”


Yes, they get their fair share of criticism, but CNN has more [emphasis mine]:

Dr. William Elwood worked with others on the layout for Eastern Virginia Medical School's 1984 yearbook-- the same yearbook that featured a photo of a person in blackface and another person in a Ku Klux Klan outfit on Ralph Northam's personal page.

Elwood said photos for personal pages "were chosen by the individual student." 

"They were submitted in a sealed envelope with their name on it to the yearbook staff, to be put on their page," Elwood told CNN.

"The pictures for the personal ones were not just chosen at random from other pictures that might have been available at that time."

Elwood said it's possible someone other than Northam submitted the disturbing photo, but it seems unlikely.

"Anything is possible, but the probability is low unless someone was out to get him and was able to get access to all this stuff," he said. "All of this stuff was kept in a locked room, and the only time the room was unlocked was when somebody was in that room working on the yearbook."


He also said it's unlikely that staff members mixed up photos during production because "as far as I know, nobody complained that their picture was under the wrong person."


When asked who reviewed the yearbook before publication, Elwood said "the editor looked at everything before it went to the publisher. I don't know what faculty oversight there was, but definitely if there had of been a problem with it then then they would have said something and probably removed it."


This is a dumpster fire. Northam apologizes, admits to being in the photo, then retracts apology, denies he’s in the photo, but also says he engaged in blackface, just not pictured here. And yes, he was thinking about doing a moonwalk during the presser where he denied being in the photo in question. His wife had to stop him, saying it wasn’t appropriate. In fact, Mrs. Northam should run the entire communications team because she’s exhibited more sense than anyone thus far. And now, we have a yearbook staffer pretty much saying that Northam knew which photos he was submitting. Should we stick a fork in him?

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