At a press conference Saturday, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) denied being in the racist blackface-KKK photo located on his page in the 1984 Eastern Virginia Medical School yearbook, but later admitted to using blackface during a separate incident in Texas.
What did Northam say?
During a bizarre press conference, in which Northam defended himself from accusations of being a racist, the embattled Virginia governor admitted that he once used shoe polish to "darken" his face for a Michael Jackson-themed dance contest in San Antonio.
Northam said he looks back at his actions with "regret" because he now understands "the harmful legacy of an action like that." He went on to explain that he won the dance contest because he looked how to moonwalk.
Northam says he did blackface at a dance contest in San Antonio that same year "as part of a Michael Jackson costum… https://t.co/PkvD7UYGRQ— jordan (@jordan)1549136953.0
Later in the press conference, Northam made light of the situation after a reporter asked Northam if he still knew how to moonwalk. Northam looked around as if he was about to initiate the famous dance, only to be scolded by his wife.
Video of when Ralph Northam gets asked by a reporter if he can still moonwalk. He looks around as if for space – on… https://t.co/bOe9uMkJKi— andrew kaczynski (@andrew kaczynski)1549139967.0
- Claimed he never saw the racist yearbook photo until it surfaced on Friday
- Accused the yearbook editors of accidentally placing the racist photo on his page
- Admitted he was nicknamed "Coonman" in college, although he denied knowing why
- Defended himself from accusations of racism by claiming he grew up with black friends
- Said he would never do "it" again, referring to blackface," after being informed by a friend that it is offensive
After the press conference, which was widely mocked and deemed a complete distaster, calls for Northam's resignation continued to mount, including from Democratic National Committee chairman Tom Perez.