WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings has joined a chorus of elected officials calling on Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam to step down over a racist photo in his medical school yearbook.
“Members of Virginia's African-American community deserve better from the head of their commonwealth,” the Baltimore Democrat posted on Twitter.
“I join those who say Governor Northam should leave. In this day and age, we cannot afford to have someone who wore blackface or represents the KKK be governor of a state.”
Sen. Chris Van Hollen, a Maryland Democrat, has also called on Northam to resign. “Governor Northam: From your neighboring state across the Potomac River, please do the right thing for our region and the country—resign,” Van Hollen tweeted. “Your actions have been unacceptable and your explanation inadequate.”
The photo of a man in a Ku Klux Klan robe and hood and another wearing blackface appeared on Northam’s page in the 1984 yearbook.
The Democratic governor initially apologized for appearing in the photo. But he then said he wasn’t in it, although he acknowledged once imitating the late pop star Michael Jackson while wearing blackface.
Cummings, the chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, is in his 13th term in the House.