A far-right conservative website was reportedly tipped off about the racist photo on Gov. Ralph Northam’s medical school yearbook page by one of his former classmates.
A source from Big League Politics told the Washington Post the individual reached out because of “anger” over Northam’s recent comments about a bill that would loosen restrictions on abortions.
“The revelations about Ralph Northam’s racist past were absolutely driven by his medical school classmate’s anger over his recent very public support for infanticide,” the unnamed source said.
Northam, a former pediatric neurologist, has faced a barrage of criticism for an interview he did with WTOP about whether he supported a bill to roll back restrictions on third-trimester abortions in his state.
“This is why decisions such as this should be made by providers, physicians, and the mothers and fathers that are involved,” Northam said on Wednesday. “When we talk about third-trimester abortions, these are done with the consent of obviously the mother, with the consent of the physician — more than one physician, by the way — and it’s done in cases where there may be severe deformities. There may be a fetus that’s non-viable.”
“If a mother is in labor, I can tell you exactly what would happen,” Northam said. “The infant would be delivered. The infant would be kept comfortable. The infant would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desired, and then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother.”
He also said comments made by the bill’s author, Virginia Democratic Del. Kathy Tran, had “really blown out of proportion.” Her bill never made it out of a subcommittee.
Conservative circles criticized Northam’s comments, arguing the governor supported “infanticide.” He responded in a tweet Wednesday evening, saying, “I have devoted my life to caring for children and any insinuation otherwise is shameful and disgusting.”
The photo that surfaced Friday on Big League Politics’ website came from Northam’s medical school’s 1984 yearbook, showing a man in blackface and a man wearing Ku Klux Klan robes.
Democrats and other allies in Virginia and across the nation have called on Northam to resign. Northam, who initially apologized on Friday, backtracked during a press conference Saturday, saying he didn’t think he was in the photo.
Northam also said he did not pick it to be included on his page. Northam additionally acknowledged he wore blackface that same year to dress up as singer Michael Jackson for a talent show.
The Post also spoke to Patrick Howley, the editor in chief of Big League Politics who previously worked at Daily Caller and Breitbart News. He said a “concerned citizen” pointed out the photo to his team, but he declined to identify his source citing a confidentiality agreement.