At times, the differences between the Democratic and Republican parties couldn’t be more stark. This weekend, as pressure built following the emergence of a horribly racist college yearbook photo he supposedly featured in, Democratic Virginia Governor Ralph Northam faced a call to resign from none other than House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who shared her thoughts on Twitter.
As she put it:
‘The photo is racist and contrary to fundamental American values. I join my colleagues in Virginia calling on Governor Northam to do the right thing so that the people of the Commonwealth of Virginia can heal and move forward.’
The photo in question features two individuals, one in blackface and another in attire resembling the robes worn by the infamous racist organization the Ku Klux Klan. It appears on his page of a 1984 yearbook marking his time at the Eastern Virginia Medical School.
In an initial response to the photo surfacing, Northam accepted responsibility for the depravity and offered an apology, insisting:
‘This behavior is not in keeping with who I am today and the values I have fought for throughout my career in the military, in medicine, and in public service.’
However, in the time since his initial remarks, Northam has reportedly privately questioned whether it’s him in the photo at all, consulting with former classmates and concluding that many of the yearbook photos were “mixed up.” He’s reportedly claimed to not remember the photo even being taken.
As of early Saturday afternoon, he had not caved to the pressure for him to step down, although he did set an appearance before the press for 2:30 P.M. EST on Saturday afternoon.
He’s faced calls for his resignation from a significant majority of the Democratic Party at this point, including the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus, the Virginia House and Senate Democrats, and the Democratic Party of Virginia.
Ironically, he’s not alone in having allegations of racism haunt his political career — but he is somewhat alone in facing calls for his resignation from his own party.
When President Donald Trump reportedly derided African nations as “shithole countries” while in office, the GOP didn’t bat an eye. That doesn’t even cover his lengthy past of racism stretching all the way back to facing a Justice Department lawsuit over the Trump Organization refusing to rent to black tenants some ten years before the unsettling and inappropriate photo appeared in Northam’s yearbook.
The discrepancy mirrors the gap between the respective major parties’ handling of sexual misconduct allegations. Trump has faced numerous credible allegations of assault and harassment — and he’s still in office. Meanwhile, when similar stories have emerged surrounding high profile Democrats like Al Franken — the Democrats have wasted no time in kicking them out.
Northam’s political future remains to be written, but one thing is clear — the United States continues to move the direction the Democratic Party is going and not down the rut the GOP is stuck in. The Democrats could take back the White House come 2020 — even potentially with a black candidate, representing another triumph for representation.
Check out Twitter’s response to Pelosi…
Featured Image via YouTube screenshot