By Micha Green, AFRO Washington, D.C. Editor, [email protected]
After celebrating the new Executive Committee for D.C. Young Democrats (DCYD) Thursday evening, on Friday the fresh team woke up to controversy surrounding Governor Ralph Northam’s (D-VA) racist yearbook pictures, and launched them into action to address the leader of the District’s neighboring state.
Despite having to face the brutally cold temperatures from last week’s polar vortex, about 200 young Washingtonians came out to vote for the DCYD Executive Board. Council members Robert C. White (D-At-large), Trayon White (D-Ward 8) and Brandon Todd (D-Ward 4) were there to support DCYD’s encouragement of civic participation and societal change. Other esteemed young Washingtonians came to support the cause as well, including CNN commentator and former Bernie Sanders campaign National Press Secretary Symone Sanders. The new board includes: President Marcus Goodwin; Executive Vice President Jennifer Blemur; Vice President of Administration and Finance Brandon Frye; Vice President of Programs Katie Breslin; National Committeeman Zach Israel; National Committeewoman Sheika Reid; Treasurer Corina Hernandez; Recording Secretary Benjamin Scott and Correspondence Secretary Andrew Haynesworth.
The day after the election and also first day of Black History Month, an extremely racist image surfaced from Northam’s yearbook page – with a man in Blackface and another in a Ku Klux Klan robe. On Feb. 3, the DCYD Executive Committee released a statement calling for Northam’s resignation.
The governor reneged responsibility for the photo- claiming it was not him, after first apologizing for the image. He said, he did, however dress in Blackface as Michael Jackson. The DCYD said Northam’s actions were not reflective of the Democratic Party’s values.
“The Democratic Party stands for inclusivity and fairness. Our Party seeks to promote mutual understanding and respect for the differences that make our nation whole. Gov. Northam’s actions are not indicative of those principles. Both his past and current behavior demonstrates a failure to truly represent, not only the party, but the people of Virginia,” they wrote.
They called for the governor’s resignation, in order to hold him accountable.
“This is a party of integrity willing to hold its members accountable, especially where other parties will not.
“Resign Governor, so that new leaders hip can get back to the work of serving the people of Virginia and learn from his shameful reminder of our nation’s past.”
Although currently entwined in his own sexual assault allegations that he vehemently denies, Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax would be next in line for the position of governor, making him the second Black governor of the state. The first Black governor of Virginia was Lawrence Douglas Wilder- who was also the first African American governor ever elected in the United States since reconstruction.
“This recent revelation has made it clear that there is better leadership for moments like these, so we look forward to the day where we can put this behind us. Your [Gov. Northam’s] resignation is the first step in that process.”
The young Democrats contend its time for unity.
“It’s time to work through the problems that divide and rally around principles that unite us.”