Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) is adding to the slew of calls for Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam’s resignation amid outrage over a racist photo in his medical school yearbook.
In a Saturday night post, the freshman congresswoman demanded the Democrat step down, arguing that “those who try to help him stumble past this deserve scrutiny.”
“If you can’t understand how painful + eroding this is to American society, let alone the state of Virginia, take some time to read up this weekend,” she added, recommending former Atlantic journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates’ “Between the World and Me” as a starting point.
On Friday, backlash was triggered by Northam’s alleged appearance in the 1984 photo showing a man in blackface next to another in a Ku Klux Klan outfit. Though the governor initially admitted to being one of the two individuals, he has since walked back the statement, now claiming he’s not sure he was in the picture at all.
However, he noted he once painted his face with shoe polish while dressing up as Michael Jackson for a dance competition.
Naturally, the response seems to have made matters worse. Ocasio-Cortez, who has often been the subject of criticism for her boldness as a newly elected representative, is just one of the latest politicians to publicly denounce Northam as bipartisan support rises for his resignation.
Despite the controversy, the governor re-affirmed on Saturday his intent to serve out the remainder of his term in office, unwilling to relinquish his post. His term is scheduled to run through 2021.