News

U.S.

William & Mary Cancels Northam Appearance amid Yearbook Scandal

Governor Ralph Northam (D, Va.), accompanied by his wife Pamela announces he will not resign during a news conference in Richmond, Va., February 2, 2019. (Jay Paul/Reuters)

Virginia governor Ralph Northam’s previously scheduled speaking appearance at the College of William and Mary’s charter day and inauguration ceremony on Friday has been cancelled, the university announced Monday.

Northam, a Democrat, came under fire on Friday after it was revealed that his 1984 Eastern Virginia Medical School yearbook page featured an image of two men, one in blackface and the other in a Ku Klux Klan uniform.

“That behavior has no place in civil society – not 35 years ago, not today. It stands in stark opposition to William & Mary’s core values of equity and inclusion, which sustain our mission of learning, teaching, and research,” College president Katherine Rowe said of the photo in a Monday statement.

Rowe, who was sworn in to her position by Northam in 2017, went on to praise the governor for serving as a “a welcoming ambassador for the Commonwealth,” but said his appearance would disrupt Friday’s proceedings.

“Under the circumstances, it has become clear that the Governor’s presence would fundamentally disrupt the sense of campus unity we aspire to and hope for with this event,” she wrote.

After initially conceding on Friday evening that he did in fact appear in the photo, Northam walked back his previous statement and denied that he appeared in the photo during a Saturday afternoon press conference, which failed to quiet the calls for his resignation from national and state officeholders in both parties. While he denied appearing in the yearbook photo, Northam admitted during the press conference that he once “darkened his face” before participating in a costumed dance contest dressed as Michael Jackson.

Something to Consider

If you enjoyed this article, we have a proposition for you: Join NRPLUS. Members get all of our content (including the magazine), no paywalls or content meters, an advertising-minimal experience, and unique access to our writers and editors (conference calls, social-media groups, etc.). And importantly, NRPLUS members help keep NR going. Consider it?

If you enjoyed this article, and were stimulated by its contents, we have a proposition for you: Join NRPLUS.

LEARN MORE

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

O’Rourke’s America

With apologies to Margaret Atwood and a thousand other dystopian novelists, we do not have to theorize about what an American police state would look like, because we know what it looks like: the airport, that familiar totalitarian environment where Americans are disarmed, stripped of their privacy, divested of ... Read More
World

Kurdish, Syrian, and Turkish Ironies

Outrage met Donald Trump’s supposedly rash decision to pull back U.S. troops from possible confrontational zones between our Kurdish friends in Syria and Recep Erdogan’s expeditionary forces. Turkey claims that it will punish the Syrian Kurds for a variety of supposed provocations, including aiding and ... Read More
Sports

LeBron James Looks Like a Fraud

So, LeBron James claimed that Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey was simply “misinformed or not really educated on the situation” when he tweeted his support for pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong. “I don’t want to get into a feud with Daryl Morey, but I believe he wasn’t educated on the situation at ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Hey, Good for You, Chelsea Clinton

Chelsea Clinton declares on The View that she’s not considering running for Congress. Throughout the run-up to the 2016 election, I was a pretty dyspeptic critic of Chelsea Clinton -- from her $1,083-per-minute speaking gig at a university, to her selection to give the keynote address at SXSW, to her awards ... Read More