PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — The racist picture that appears on Governor Ralph Northam’s page in the 1984 EVMS yearbook has sparked outrage and led to protestors voicing their concerns on the streets of Richmond.
Most of the protestors carry one clear message: that the governor needs to resign.
Among those people is a local leader, Portsmouth’s NAACP president, James Boyd.
He says the vibe in Richmond is one of commitment, anger, and betrayel after learning Northam’s not stepping down.
“Whenever you hold power it’s arrogant to feel you can just maintain power regardless of the circumstances, you know that Virginians want you to leave, you know the pictures are offensive,” said Boyd.
Over the weekend, he says he met with the Virginia State Conference of the NAACP, which is made up of all the branches in Virginia, where they collectively called for Northam’s resignation.
He says the first step in healing the country is Northam’s resignation, but that’s just the beginning.
“He has to search his soul, the Democratic Party needs to do some internal research as well, also EVMS. The culture that’s concerning there is: how many Ralph Northams are there inside of that class? How many Ralph Northams are there inside EVMS? Is that culture still there?” he asked.
Boyd says legislators should be prepared to remove him if it gets to that point.
“People can change, but there still needs to be some sense of accountability, some sense of transparency,” Boyd explained.