Ralph Northam Insists He’s Not In Racist Photo, Admits To Wearing Blackface On Another Occasion

This is, amazingly, real life folks.

Less than 24 hours after confirming that he appeared in a racist photo that was in his 1984 medical school yearbook, Democratic Virginia Governor Ralph Northam walked back those claims in a truly bananas press conference, insisting that he was neither the person wearing blackface or the one wearing a KKK robe in the picture.

How was he so certain? Northam said it was because he wore blackface on ANOTHER occasion and the regret he felt over that was “so vivid” that he knows he couldn’t have done it any other time.

Yes, this is the excuse the governor is going for.

“In the hours since I made my statement yesterday, I reflected with my family and classmates from the time and affirmed my conclusion that I am not the person in that photo,” he said Saturday afternoon. “While I did not appear in this photo, I am not surprised by its appearance in the EVMS yearbook. In the place and time where I grew up, many actions that we rightfully recognize as abhorrent today were commonplace.”

Northam then recounted the time that he wore blackface to portray Michael Jackson for an event.

“My belief that I did not wear that costume or attend that party stems in part from my clear memory of other mistakes I made in the same period of that same year,” he stated. “I did participate in a dance contest in San Antonio in which I darkened my face as part of a Michael Jackson costume. I look back now and regret that I did not understand the harmful legacy of an action like that.”

The Virginia governor added that it was “because my memory of that episode is so vivid that I truly do not believe I am in the picture in my yearbook — you remember these things.”

Let’s just say this strategy of Northam claiming another instance of wearing blackface is proof that he wasn’t one of the two people in the photo on his yearbook page was met with not just skepticism, but outright confusion and head-scratching.

Northam also refused to resign, saying he has no intention stepping down while insisting throughout that he wasn’t in the photo and that it could have possibly have been placed on his yearbook page accidentally. The governor is under intense pressure from his own party to step down, as Democrats have roundly condemned him and openly called for his resignation.

Watch the clip above, via CNN.

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Justin Baragona is the founder/publisher of Contemptor and a contributor to The Daily Beast. He was previously the Cable News Correspondent for Mediaite and prior to starting Contemptor, he worked on the editorial staff of PoliticusUSA. During that time, he had his work quoted by USA Today and BBC News, among others. Justin began his published career as a political writer for 411Mania. He resides in St. Louis, MO with his wife and pets.

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