Latino Victory Fund released a highly controversial ad in 2017 tearing down Ralph Northam’s opponent, Ed Gillespie, in the Virginia gubernatorial campaign.
The ad depicts several minorities being chased by an apparent Gillespie supporter in a pickup truck flying a Confederate flag.
The scared children run frantically away from the driver.
Here it is:
“Is this what Donald Trump and Ed Gillespie mean by the American Dream?” the voice over asks.
The ad was released by Latino Victory Fund, a Washington, D.C.-based group.
But that organization is silent now that the the candidate it was effectively support, Northam, is in an actual race scandal.
Northam released a statement, according to WRIC, saying he was sorry:
“Earlier today, a website published a photograph of me from my 1984 medical school yearbook in a costume that is clearly racist and offensive.
I am deeply sorry for the decision I made to appear as I did in this photo and for the hurt that decision caused then and now.
This behavior is not in keeping with who I am today and the values I have fought for throughout my career in the military, in medicine, and in public service. But I want to be clear, I understand how this decision shakes Virginians’ faith in that commitment.
I recognize that it will take time and serious effort to heal the damage this conduct has caused. I am ready to do that important work. The first step is to offer my sincerest apology and to state my absolute commitment to living up to the expectations Virginians set for me when they elected me to be their Governor.”
Northam didn’t indicate if he was posing as the Klansman or in blackface.
But further digging by Twitter user Amber Athey may yield a clue, as Northam’s nickname was apparently “Coonman” in the Virginia Military Institute 1981 yearbook:
Ralph Northam's senior yearbook at VMI says one of his nicknames was "Coonman." I don't dare speculate as to what that means.
— Amber Athey (@amber_athey) February 1, 2019
Here’s a zoomed in version, courtesy of Archive.org:
The nickname could be a slur against blacks.
The American Mirror contacted Latino Victory Fund seeking a reaction to Northam’s racist photo. The group has not responded.