Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam’s Predominantly Black Home Church Wants Him to Have ‘Another Chance’ Amid Blackface Controversy

Virginia Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam, who is campaigning to be elected as the state’s governor, greets supporters during a rally in Richmond, Virginia, U.S. November 6, 2017. REUTERS/Julia Rendleman

As prominent Democrats such as Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez called on Virginia’s embattled Democrat Governor Ralph Northam to resign over a still swirling blackface controversy, the governor’s pastor and congregants at a predominantly black church where he is a member wants him to have “another chance.”

The Rev. Kelvin Jones, who leads the First Baptist Church in Capeville, located in Virginia’s Northampton County, told Delmarva Now that he and his members are open to forgiving Northam for his 34-year old blackface performance because they believe in “giving people another chance.”

“That’s what we preach and teach,” Jones said. “We say it all the time. But when it comes to put it in practice, if it doesn’t fall in line with what we particularly feel or the political climate, then we step aside.”

“Somebody has to stand,” the pastor said.

Northam who just last week became the subject of national headlines for expressing support for a recent proposal in the Virginia legislature that would allow abortions up to 40 weeks of pregnancy, faced even more criticism after a 1984 yearbook photo on a page with Northam’s name came to light.

The photo taken from Northam’s time at Eastern Virginia Medical School shows two people, one in blackface and another masked under a Klu Klux Klan robe. After admitting he was in the photo and apologizing for it however, Northam said at a press conference Saturday that it wasn’t him at all.

He admitted however that he once used “just a little bit of shoe polish” to darken his face for a dance contest in San Antonio, Texas where he danced as Michael Jackson.

“I had the shoes, I had a glove and I used just a little bit of shoe polish to put under, or on my cheeks,” Northam told reporters. “The reason I used a very little bit is because, I don’t know if anybody has ever tried that, but you cannot get shoe polish off.”

While Northam’s church and his pastor appear will to forgive him however, a bipartisan call for him to step down as governor has been growing.

“Northam must resign, and those who try to help him stumble past this deserve scrutiny,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted Saturday night.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Leonardo Blair