NAACP doubles down on call for Northam to resign with "demand"

Published: Feb. 3, 2019 at 12:52 AM EST
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Virginia NAACP leaders said Saturday Gov. Ralph Northam has lost the public's trust and must leave office immediately.

"We demand, not ask, that Governor Ralph Northam resign," said Reverend Kevin Chandler, the leader of the Virginia NAACP chapter.

Chandler described the Governor's medical school year book photo, showing one man dressed in blackface and another in KKK robes, as a "betrayal."

Chandler said he spoke to the Governor by phone Friday night, shortly after the story broke. Chandler says the Governor apologized to him for the photo, however "it's not an apology we can accept."

On Saturday, Governor Northam held a press conference where he questioned whether he was in the yearbook photo. However many at the NAACP meeting said that was irrelevant.

"When your integrity becomes suspect, when your credibility becomes suspect, you can't over come that," said Brenda Hale, president of the Roanoke NAACP.

She said the photo is a symptom of a larger problem with racism in America. "You can't say it's not happening. It is very real, and it's happening every day, and it's happening in all levels of government, and everyday life."

Governor Northam has said he wants to make amends for the pain he says he has caused. Reverend Chandler said that might be possible, with one condition: "He could, but just not as governor."