BURKE, Va. — Virginia’s governor Ralph Northam was back on the campaign circuit helping raise funds at Senator David Marsden’s campaign kick-off Saturday.
Protesters from the NAACP and Virginia’s republican party protested in front of the event, allied in their frustration that Northam has not stepped down.
It’s been two months since a photo in his 1984 medical school yearbook appeared to show the governor in blackface or a KKK hood.
Kofi Annan, president of the Fairfax County NAACP, said Governor Northam’s denial of being in the photo defies logic.
“It’s just another slap in the face. I think it’s an insult to our intelligence," said Annan.
John March, Communications Director with the Republican Party of Virginia agreed.
“Governor Northam admitted to being in his first yearbook, then took it back in a bumbling press conference, in which he admitted to being in black face another time. It’s unforgivable.”
Senator David Marsden said he is now standing behind Northam. Though he initially called for his resignation, he now says he believes he wasn’t in the picture.
‘That I do believe, yes" said Marsden.
Marsden added there’s a lot at stake in November’s upcoming election. He said Democrats have a unique opportunity to win both chambers.
“Life goes on we have to govern. We have to do the important things necessary. We can’t just sit around. We got some things done in the veto session that have never been accomplished before," said Marsden.
Annan said, though the NAACP has traditionally been allied in their fight for equality, many at Saturday’s protest expressed a sense of betrayal and vowed not to vote Democrat in November’s election.
“They have to be reminded, that we are not pawns and that our interests and our feelings matter and we can’t just sacrifice them when it’s convenient," said Annan.
Sean Perryman, Fairfax County NAACP Vice President is a constituent of Marsdens’. Perryman said he’s lost his vote.
“It’s disgusting. It makes me feel that the people who I elected previously and I supported previously do not care about me as an individual, or as an African American and they do not care about my community.”
The eastern Virginia Medical school has hired an outside law firm to investigation its 1984 yearbook.
There’s no timeline for when that report is set to be released.