Ralph Northam, the Democratic governor of Virginia who is currently embroiled in a scandal involving blackface, Ku Klux Klan robes and a Michael Jackson impersonation, has learned from the other side of the aisle. So far he’s adamantly refused to resign, despite his own party basically telling him he has to. It’s the kind of brazen me-first ploy you expect from a Republican party that has long tolerated Steve King and elected Donald Trump president.
If you missed the news over the last few days, here goes: late in the week it was revealed that Northam’s medical school yearbook page from 1984 included a photograph of one man in blackface and another in Klan robes. Yes, in 1984. Initially Northam put out a statement verifying that the yearbook page was real, where he assumed that one of the two men was him. But then, in a press conference on Saturday morning, Northam denied that he was in that photo, while also revealing that he did wear blackface in college while doing a Michael Jackson impersonation. So his defense against blackface and Klan charges is that he actually did blackface at a different time while in college in the mid ‘80s.
This dude did blackface the year Ghostbusters came out. The year Who’s the Boss premiered. The year “When Doves Cry” and “What’s Love Got to Do With It” topped the charts. Northam tried to absolve himself from blackface charges by copping to another bout of blackface that still happened decades after blackface and minstrelsy had disappeared as a form of mass entertainment. Even if he isn’t racist (which, I mean, he pretty much has to be, or at least was in his mid 20s in 1984), at the very least he’d be the stupidest man in politics this side of the president.
It’s such an unbelievable and all-around embarrassing situation that of course it’s inspired some pretty great tweets. Here are the funniest responses to Northam’s racism and bumbling reaction.