Members of the New Jersey Legislative Black Caucus are calling for the resignation of Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam.
“There are no justifications to rationalize this lapse in judgement of an elected leader and the public trust has been broken,” members of the caucus said in a statement released today.
“The cascade of events that provide no clarity of the misjudgment by Governor Northam early in his adult years to mock the history of racism and bigotry in our country, forces us as black elected officials to stand in solidarity with the LBC of Virginia,” said Assemblywoman Shavonda Sumter (D-Paterson). “There is zero tolerance to reflect upon the sins of the past with humor.”
State Sen. Ronald Rice (D-Newark) said that the “deep rooted history of bigotry continues to plague our country and the hurts of the past will never be erased. “
“As elected officials we are called to embrace and represent all individuals and not ridicule anyone for the color of their skin nor marginalize the horrors of the past,” Rice said.
Gov. Phil Murphy and U.S. Senator Cory Booker have joined Virginia and national political leaders in urging Northam to resign.
Northam has rejected calls for his resignation, saying that he is not one of the individuals in a racist photo that appeared on his page of a 1984 medical school yearbook.