During a lengthy press conference Saturday afternoon, infanticide-supporting Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam managed to stick his foot so far down his esophagus that he may need surgery to remove it.
Besides denying allegations that he was one of the men featured in a 1984 Eastern Virginia Medical School yearbook wearing blackface and KKK robes — despite having already apologized twice for being in the picture — Northam proclaimed that he “had a lot of African-American friends” and trotted out an excuse for why his nicknames back in college had been “goose” and “coonman.”
“My main nickname was Goose, because when my voice would change, it would change an octave,” he said. “There were two individuals, as best I recollect. They were a year ahead of me, they called me [coonman]. I don’t know their motives or intent. I know who they are. That was the extent of it. This ended up in the yearbook and I regret that.”
This excuse satisfied roughly zero people.
As one critic wrote on social media, “I thought the Coonman excuse was the worst. He didn’t remember why they called him that? I would remember if someone called me Robespierre.”
His excuse for apologizing for the blackface photo was even worse. First he said that he simply hadn’t looked at the photo closely enough when his staff brought it to his attention Friday.
Then he admitted that he had wore blackface on other occasions in the past, including during a dance contest in which he dressed as singer Michael Jackson. And then, to make matters worse, he tried to excuse his past indiscretions by highlighting his many friendships with black people.
“We live and learn. We are all human and this has been a tremendous learning experience and, you know, I will tell you, I had — I will say unique opportunity growing up on the eastern shore. I was in public school during desegregation. I had a lot of African-American friends that I went to school with, played ball with and I suspect, I’ve had as much exposure to people of color as anybody,” he said.
But as noted by social media, the infamous “I have black friends” line is not a valid excuse.
“Some of my best friends are black!”
He’s just gonna scroll through ALL racist excuse-cliches, isn’t he.
— Penny Cillin (@OPAmericanJesus) February 2, 2019
“I’ve had as much exposure to people of color as anybody” -Ralph Northam
excuse me sir you are white? also having black friends does not justify your racism
— T A L ! A (@tlpcsmrshll) February 2, 2019
Oh God. Here comes the “I have a black friend” excuse from Northam.
— Spandan @ TPV (@thepeoplesview) February 2, 2019
Ralph Northam uses the “my one Black Friend” excuse good lord this is a shit show.
— Sperry Ellis (@SperryEllis) February 2, 2019
I’m reading this live Twitter feed of the Northam press conference. Check out this variation of the classic white excuse “I can’t be racist. Some of my closest friends are black people.” https://t.co/3pFCsXq2AB
— Kimberly Keyes (@funkyartist) February 3, 2019
Northam using the “some of my best friends are black” excuse is really something https://t.co/X0fgLvUiLU
— Jake ???? (@jakehatescars) February 3, 2019
Northam also vowed to remain in office, arguing that he’s learned his lesson — decades late — and that he’ll never act like a racist douche again (starting after the press conference, of course).
In fact, when a reporter asked him if it was time for him to resign, he maintained that no, he doesn’t need to step aside, because he’s such an honest, nice guy (what a hero!).
“No,” he said in response, “because I’m letting you know right now, without a picture, that this is what happened. And that’s the way I operate. I want to be honest with people.”
He even trotted out the “I have black friends” claim again.
“And again, as I said earlier, I discussed this with a person of color. He let me know why this was offensive. I apologized to him. And I will never do it again,” he promised.
Do you pinky swear, Mr. Governor?
The governor’s unbelievable litany of excuses and refusal to resign — to be clear, everybody from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to even the folks at Planned Parenthood have demanded he step down immediately — has served to only further convince Americans that he needs to go.
@GovernorVA Citizens demand you resign NOW! You admitted you dressed up in blackface, and you dispute the photographic evidence on your Med School yearbook, yet never demanded it removed. Occam’s Razor says its you, and your flimsy excuses and apologies are empty. Disgusting! https://t.co/bfFzltbmid
— Robert Silva (@LiveFreeNH1784) February 2, 2019
In short, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam says he’s not a racist, then tells you about a time he was in blackface and said, “c—n” and that should exonerate him from maybe not being in black face or in a kkk hood in his yearbook.
You gotta go.
— There are some who call me… Tim? (@gozerworshipper) February 3, 2019
So is @RalphNortham going to resign or continually come up with excuses?
— Same Ole Cooke (@Cookameyer) February 3, 2019
.@RalphNortham must resign immediately. Full stop. No excuses.
— Justin Click (@HeyYo_JClick) February 3, 2019
Y’all Northam’s lying, trying to save face. He did it and he knows it. Just plain wrong, no excuses should have known better!! #disgusting #NorthamMustResign #Unbelievable #Wrong #Racist pic.twitter.com/g6TBe3gQav
— Angela Coleman (@angelatcoleman) February 2, 2019
— NPHva (@NPHva) February 2, 2019
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