Statement on Ralph Northam

In 2017, the Harvard College Democrats campaigned for Democrats in Virginia up and down the ballot, including for Governor Ralph Northam. Because of our work supporting his campaign as well as our belief in equity and inclusion, we are compelled today to speak about the revelation that he appeared in a racist photo in his medical school yearbook and participated in the racist tradition of blackface on at least one other occasion.

Use of blackface, white supremacist garb, and racist symbols is unacceptable. By appearing in this photo (or, as he alleges, approving the photo to be in his yearbook), Governor Northam has betrayed the values we and the Virginians who elected him hold dear. Racism and public service are incompatible, and Governor Northam’s participation in white supremacy means he is not qualified to govern the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Governor Ralph Northam has betrayed the values he told us he believed in, and it is time for him to resign and allow Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax to lead Virginia forward.