LULAC Supports Call For Governor’s Resignation

Nation’s Oldest and Largest Civil Rights Organization Says Northam’s Past & Present Actions Make Him Unfit To Serve

Washington, DC - The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) says it supports calls for Virginia Governor Ralph Northam to resign as he is being urged to do by the Congressional Black Caucus and other leaders.

“We cannot condone racially insensitive actions from anyone, but especially those who serve in public office and we respectfully encourage Governor Northam to consider what is best for all citizens of the Commonwealth of Virginia,” says Vilma Seymour, President, Richmond Region LULAC Council. “LULAC is a voice for Latino voters in our community and the right decision is step aside to allow someone else who can lead effectively to take his place,” adds Seymour.

The groundswell of calls for Governor Northam to step down follow release of a photograph by CNN from the 1984 Eastern Virginia Medical School yearbook. It shows one person dressed in blackface and another wearing a white hood and robe, reminiscent of the KKK.

“The decision that Governor Northam must now make is one of the hardest a true leader ever faces --- to step away for the good of all,” says Seymour. “While the photo that ignited this firestorm overtaking him was from his distant past, it is his very current responses over the past few days that have resulted in the untenable position in which he now finds himself,” she adds.

Northam denies being either individual in the photo but admits the racist picture was on his yearbook page and that he had not taken responsibility nor expressed remorse publicly until now. LULAC says it supports the Congressional Black Caucus and the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus in urging Northam to resign.

Sindy Benavides, LULAC Chief Executive Officer is a Virginian who also grew up in the Commonwealth. “I know well the people from my childhood home and can tell you this picture evokes memories of a very dark past. I pray and am certain Governor Northam will make the right decision for a state he loves so that the healing following these hurtful actions can begin for all of us. We believe that Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax will help lead our state and is best poised to serve as our next Governor,” states Benavides.

The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) is the nation’s largest and oldest civil rights volunteer-based organization that empowers Hispanic Americans and builds strong Latino communities. Headquartered in Washington, DC, with 1,000 councils around the United States and Puerto Rico, LULAC’s programs, services and advocacy address the most important issues for Latinos, meeting critical needs of today and the future. For more information, visit www.LULAC.org

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