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Virginia Governor Denies He Is In Racist Yearbook Photo

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam speaks during a press conference

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam is refusing to resign after a racist photo was discovered on his page in his 1984 medical school yearbook.

"I could spare myself from the difficult path that lies ahead. I could avoid an honest conversation about harmful actions from my past," Northam said. "I cannot in good conscience chose the path that would be easier for me in an effort to duck my responsibility to reconcile."

Northam initially admitted that he was in the photo, which depicted a man in blackface standing next to somebody wearing a Ku Klux Klan hood, but later clarified and said it was not him and that he was not at the party where the photograph was taken.

"When I was confronted with the image, I was appalled that it appeared on my page, but I believed then, and I believe now that I am not either of the people in that photograph," he said during a press conference.

Northam did admit that he "darkened [his] face as part of a Michael Jackson costume" at a different party that year.

"I look back now and regret that I did not understand the harmful legacy of an action like that," he said.

Photo: Getty Images

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