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The exceedingly weird saga of Ralph Northam


Our story so far:

On Friday Northam’s personal page from his medical school yearbook surfaces. It includes a picture of two unidentified people, one wearing blackface, the other in a Klan robe and hood.

Within a few hours, Northam says he’s in the picture, although he doesn’t say which of the two people is him (this is the first odd detail of many in this story).

A few hours after that, he does a 180, saying he’s definitely NOT in the picture.  His explanation goes like this: Around the same time that he graduated from medical school (1984), he participated in a Michael Jackson impersonation contest, for which he used shoe polish to darken his skin.  Because of this, and because he did other unspecified things in his youth that he now regrets, he mistakenly assumed that the picture in the yearbook was of him, even though he had never even seen that picture before Friday.

I think this story is actually plausible, which is not to say that I think it’s definitely true or anything.

It’s believable that he’d never seen the yearbook picture, because what is a medical school yearbook anyway?  It’s quite possible that Northam’s personal page was some sophomoric goof put together without his knowledge.  In which case, it’s also believable that he had never seen it before now.  If all that’s true, then his entire story makes sense, including his panicky false memory confession immediately after it was revealed. (Obviously all this needs to be investigated in detail if Northam continues to refuse to resign. A place to start would be with the editors of the year book).

So the question becomes, what follows IF the story as he’s telling it now is true?


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