Virginia Governor Ralph Northam has found himself at the center of a major political crisis in the past few days after a photo on his 1984 Eastern Virginia Medical School yearbook displays a picture of who's purported to be Northam in blackface standing next to another student dressed up in a Ku Klux Klan robe.
There's typically a natural course for these types of political nightmares where the [insert political title] in the photo says something about being a dumb college student before apologizing and stepping down from their position. Northam, a Democrat elected in 2017, had different plans in mind. This was not in a "I'm going to fight through this" kind of way, even though he did do that. Instead, he took the "I'm going to change my mind multiple times before making even dumber comments" approach.
And folks, did he commit to that line of (non-committal) thinking.
When the picture first surfaced on February 1, CNN reported that Northam had confirmed that he was one of the people in the photograph, decrying the costumes as "clearly racist and offensive."
However, between the release of his initial statement and a press conference 24 hours later, the Virginia governor changed his position and told reporters that he didn't believe he was either person in the photograph.
That sounds pretty bad right? He was caught in a terribly offensive costume, apologized for being racist, and then changed his mind. Couldn't get much worse, right? Right?
In addition to denying his role in the photograph, Northam admitted that he once took part in a 1984 dance contest where he darkened his face to look more like Michael Jackson.
"I had the shoes, I had a glove, and I used just a little bit of shoe polish to put under my - or on my - cheeks," Northam said. "And the reason I used a very little bit is because, I don't know if anybody's ever tried that, but you cannot get shoe polish off."
If joking about blackface wasn't bad enough, Northam also nearly jumped at the opportunity to recreate one of the moves from the dance contest - Michael Jackson's infamous Moonwalk - when asked by a reporter. And it looked like the embattled governor was just about to break out into a dance routine before his wife stopped him and said that these were "inappropriate circumstances."
Through all of this, Northam says he has no plans on stepping down from the governorship, despite high ranking members of the Virginia Democratic Party and National Democratic Party calling for his resignation so that the people of the Commonwealth of Virginia can move past this whole ordeal.
What do you think? Should Northam do what so many are calling the right thing and step down so his constituents can heal? Or should he stand his ground and remain in the governor's mansion? Make sure to sound off in the comments below.
Brainjet is devoted to providing you with all of the craziest, most eye-opening, and overall most interesting information out there.