Northam announces special session on gun control

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam announced that he’ll recall lawmakers to the state Capitol in the coming weeks to take up a package of gun-control legislation to prevent killings, like Friday’s mass shooting in Virginia Beach. (June 4)

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Probe inconclusive on gov.’s racist yearbook pic

An investigation ordered up by a Virginia medical school failed to determine whether Gov. Ralph Northam is in a 1984 yearbook photo of a man in blackface next to someone in a Ku Klux Klan hood. (May 22)

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Students Uninvite Gov. Ralph Northam From The First Stop On His Apology Tour (HBO)

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam hoped that today would kickoff his statewide apology tour. But last night, his first attempt to atone for the yearbook photo of a klansman and man in blackface, and for wearing blackface to moonwalk as Michael Jackson, fell apart.

The governor doesn’t deny moonwalking, but he does deny he’s in the photo on his yearbook page.

The governor planned to appear at historically black Virginia Union University for an event honoring the Richmond 34 civil rights activists. While some of the honorees were happy to let their ceremony serve as a place for the Governor to begin learning and apologizing for his racist act, the current VUU student body felt blindsided.

VUU’s Student Government Association President, Jamon Phenix, penned a letter addressed to Governor Northam demanding he back out of the event, explaining that the students “feel as though your presence takes away from the historical significance of our commemoration.”

Phenix says he invites the Governor to return to campus later this year. When asked why he would delay the chance to reconcile, Phenix told VICE News that the Governor’s mere presence at the event, without the opportunity for students to ask questions or have a discussion, didn’t add value. “There was no real reconciliation. If he was to attend, he would not be on the platform and he would not have said anything. Where’s the reconciliation inside of just a presence?”

Elizabeth Johnson Rice, one of the Richmond 34, disagreed. In 1960, she and her peers entered Thalhimers department store, sat down at a whites-only counter, and were arrested and charged with trespassing. As alarmed as she was that Northam had dressed in blackface, she believes firmly in second chances. “Northam may have trespassed against the black community,” she conceded. “But the word is forgiveness. And that’s, that’s what my heart said that he deserves.”

VICE News met with current and former VUU students in Richmond, VA. Though Governor Northam wasn’t in the room, the question of whether or not he was worthy of reconciliation certainly was.

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Virginia Governor says he will not resign

Embattled Virginia Governor, Ralph Northam tells CBS This Morning that he will not resign after a blackface photo emerged in his medical school yearbook. (Feb. 11)

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AP Top Stories February 10 P

Here are the top stories for Sunday, February 10: Sen. Amy Klobuchar announces a presidential bid; Va. Gov. Ralph Northam ‘not going anywhere’; SKorea to pay more to US military; Snowball fight draws thousands in Washington.

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Northam says he thought about resigning

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam says he thought about resigning in the days after a racist yearbook photo surfaced. (Feb. 10)

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Al Sharpton calls for VA governor’s resignation

During a chapel service at Virginia Union University, the Reverend Al Sharpton urged Virginia’s Governor, Ralph Northam, to step down over the controversy surrounding his use of black face. (Feb. 8)

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The Long, Painful Legacy Of Blackface In America (HBO)

Ralph Northam is still the governor of Virginia—for now. But he’s facing increasing pressure to resign after a conservative media site unearthed a photo of a man in blackface on Northam’s page in a 1984 medical school yearbook.

Northam insists it isn’t him in the photo. And the New York Times today reported that a group of his medical school classmates is standing behind him. “We fully believe Governor Ralph Northam is neither of the individuals in those repugnant costumes,” they wrote in a letter. “We attended classes with the Governor. We socialized with him. We knew him very well.”

But even if Northam can prove he isn’t in the photo, there’s another problem: In a press conference on Saturday, Northam admitted he had “darkened” his face for fun around the same time. “That same year, I did participate in a dance contest in San Antonio in which I darkened my face as part of a Michael Jackson costume,” he said. “I look back now and regret that I did not understand the harmful legacy of an action like that.”

Northam may not have understood that “harmful legacy” back in the 80’s—plenty of people didn’t. In fact, many still don’t understand it now.

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Lee on Northam: ‘You can’t make this stuff up’

(5 Feb 2019) At Oscar Nominees Luncheon, Spike Lee offers his take on Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam: “WTF!” (Feb. 5)

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Protesters urge Virginia Gov. Northam to resign

(5 Feb 2019) Protesters gathered outside Virginia’s statehouse on Monday and called for Governor Ralph Northam to resign. Northam has rebuffed widespread calls for his resignation since a racist photo surfaced Friday in his 1984 medical school yearbook page. (Feb. 5)

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AP Top Stories February 4 P

(4 Feb 2019) Here’s the latest for Monday, Feb. 4: Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam faces increasing calls to resign; NTSB chair says the shutdown delayed dozens of accident investigations, A jury begins deliberations in the El Chapo trial, Pope Francis makes first ever papal visit to the Arabian Peninsula.

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AP Top Stories February 2 P

(2 Feb 2019) Here’s the latest for Saturday, February 2nd: VA Gov. Ralph Northam vowing to remain in office; Vladimir Putin says Russia will abandon INF treaty; Venezuela President Maduro proposed holding elections; Punxsutawney Phil says spring is coming early.

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Virginia governor apologizes for 1984 racist photo

(2 Feb 2019) Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam acknowledged Friday that he appears in a photo on his 1984 medical school yearbook page that shows a person in blackface and another wearing a Ku Klux Klan robe. He quickly apologized. (Feb. 1)

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How Charlottesville’s First Black Female Mayor Tried To Revive The City After Tragedy (HBO)

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam and the city of Charlottesville have declared a state of emergency this weekend, in preparation for the year anniversary of the deadly 2017 Unite the Right rally.

The organizers were denied a permit and don’t plan to meet in Charlottesville again. Instead, they will be hosting a rally in D.C. But the city of Charlottesville is still preparing for the possibility of violence.

VICE News spent time with Mayor Nikuyah Walker, the city’s first black female elected to the position, and explores what it’s been like for the Charlottesville native to revive the city after a tragedy.

“My hope is that we do this work of transforming the current state of the city so well that people will come and ask us how we did that,” Walker told VICE News. ​”And that we may become a model for how true change happens in a country that has been struggling with truth for almost 400 years.” ​

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Emergency Declared Before Charlottesville Anniv.

(8 Aug 2018) Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam and the city of Charlottesville on Wednesday declared a state of emergency ahead of the one-year anniversary of a violent white nationalist rally that left one person dead and dozens of others injured. (Aug. 8)

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AP Top Stories 13 P

Here’s the latest for Friday, January 13th: False ballistic missile alert in Hawaii; Ralph Northam inaugurated as Virginia Governor; Czech presidential election will go into a second round; Baby panda born in France.

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Northam Sworn In, Pledges Less Toxic Politics

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, who rode a wave of voter unhappiness with President Donald Trump to electoral victory, took the oath of office Saturday with a pledge to make politics less toxic and more productive. (Jan. 13)

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‘Our democracy is at stake’: Watch Obama return to the campaign trail to rally voters in Virginia

Obama returned to the campaign trail to support Ralph Northam in his run for Governor of Virginia, warning voters that “our democracy is at stake” if they sit out off year and midterm elections. Following is a transcript of the video.

Barack Obama: Folks don’t feel good right now about what they see. They don’t feel as if our public life reflects our best. Instead of our politics reflecting our values, we’ve got politics infecting our communities. Instead of looking for ways to work together and get things done in a practical way, we’ve got folks who are deliberately trying to make folks angry. To demonize people who have different ideas.

Off year elections, mid-term elections, Democrats sometimes … y’all get a little sleepy. You get a little complacent. Now this is not my opinion, this is the data. This is the data. During presidential elections everybody gets all excited. And then when it’s an off year election, suddenly, everybody, “What there’s an election going on?” And so as a consequence folks wake up and they’re surprised. “How come we can’t get things through Congress? How come we can’t get things through the State House?” Because you slept through the election. But the stakes now don’t allow you to sleep, because it’s going to come down to how bad you want it. I don’t want to hear folks complaining and not doing something about it. All the young people out here, you know, I think that it’s great that you “hashtag” and “meme,” but I need you to vote.”

Ralph Northam wants progress, he wants to take us forward, not backward, he wants to reach out for hope, not fear. That’s where Justin Fairfax wants to take us. That’s where you should want to take us. We need you to take this seriously, because our democracy is at stake.

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