Earlier this year, headlines broke around the country after a report came out of Ralph Northam being identified in a yearbook as a man in blackface standing aside a fellow student who was decked in white robes indicative of Ku Klux Klan membership. The picture of Ralph Northam, the Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia, was published back in 1984 in the Eastern Virginia Medical School’s 1984 yearbook.
Just earlier today, Tuesday, May 21, 2019, McGuireWoods, a law firm hired by Eastern Virginia Medical School to conduct an investigation into just how the racist photo found its way into the school-approved publication, announced that it had completed its inquiry.
The results, according to both Eastern Virginia Medical School and McGuireWoods, are slated to be released to the public tomorrow, on Wednesday, May 22.
Although some amount of people, which is obviously unknown, saw the picture of then-recent graduate Ralph Northam in the 1984 yearbook, the Virginia Governor didn’t start receiving widespread flak for his involvement in the racist picture until Feb. 2019, when a conservative-learning web page published a photograph of the two men standing beside one another, taken directly from the 1984 Eastern Virginia Medical School yearbook.
Shortly after buzz began building up as a result of the post, Democratic Virginia Governor Northam published a pair of apologies, taking the form of a social media post and a formal press release. He did, in fact, ‘fess up as one of the two men pictured in the yearbook picture.
Within a day of the Governor publishing the two apologies, countless politicians and political groups, including the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus, called on Northam to resign.
Northam hasn’t since resigned. As a matter of fact, just one day after he published the pair of apologies, Northam shared with the world via an in-person press conference in the state’s capital that he felt convinced that he was not either of the men presented in the 1984 Eastern Virginia Medical School yearbook’s racially-themed picture.
Shortly after news of his alleged depiction in the picture broke in Feb. 2019, Northam essentially became a recluse, not making any public appearances for nearly two months, though he’d begin showing his face around the state of Virginia at official public appearances in April 2019.
Fortunately for Northam, two other public scandals involving members of Virginia’s state legislature, Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax and Attorney General Mark Herring, took some of the spotlight off of the Governor. These two scandals broke headlines just a few days after Northam’s scandal broke.