On Saturday, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam attempted to shoot down claims that his 1984 medical school yearbook contains a picture of him in blackface. It did not go well. Only a few months after Megyn Kelly’s own blackface-involved incident, Northam has been under fire since the picture — as well as other inflammatory, racist images — surfaced, with many calling on him to resign. So Northam called a press conference on Saturday to tell his side of the story, while admitting to a separate act of blackface, as if to remind us yet again that we live in the weirdest, worst timeline.
The press conference, which lasted an hour, found the Democratic governor denying that the image of an Eastern Virginia Medical School student in blackface standing next to another person in a KKK robe was him.
“I believe now and then that I am not either of the people in this photo,” Northam said, then added that he didn’t think he ever got drunk enough to forget something like this. He also said he would not resign from office.
Northam then added something else: that, while he asserts he is not the person in that picture, there was this other time he dressed up as Michael Jackson and wore blackface.
“I had the shoes, I had a glove, and I used just a little bit of shoe polish to put under my — or on my — cheeks,” Northam said. He twisted the knife by adding, “And the reason I used a very little bit is because, I don’t know if anybody’s ever tried that, but you cannot get shoe polish off.”
The court of Twitter was not, shall we say, moved.
Some pointed out that Northam felt okay admitting that because, after all, he’s white.
Some made moonwalk jokes.
Some really dissected his words.
Others dwelled on the yearbook itself.
Others pointed out that there’s an awful lot of blackface about these days.
Others dwelled on the remarkable shoe polish quote.
Some reminded us that we’re only two days into Black History Month.
Some talked about whiteface.
Or about blackface.
Some pointed out that, while Northam is a Democrat, the Republicans on his hide right now aren’t entirely innocent
Some were reminded of Brett Kavanaugh.
Or Roy Moore.
But everyone can agree that Northam is a formidable intellect.
Despite seeming to make things worse for himself on Saturday, the politician has still not resigned.