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Virginia governor says he will finish term and 'heal the pain'

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WASHINGTON -- Ralph Northam, the governor of Virginia embroiled in scandal over a racist photo, said in an interview Saturday that he will finish his term and focus on racial equality.

The scandal surrounding Northam has set off increased scrutiny over the divisive racial history in Virginia and across the United States.

"I want to heal that pain, and I want to make sure that all Virginians have equal opportunity," Northam said in the interview with the Washington Post. "And I think I'm the person that can do that for Virginia."

He told the newspaper that he is learning to understand "white privilege."

The photo from the 1984 Eastern Virginia Medical School yearbook shows a man in blackface alongside another in a Ku Klux Klan robe and hood. The photo appears on Northam's personal page in the yearbook although he denies being in the photo.

At a news conference last week Northam denied being in the photo but admitted to donning blackface to impersonate the musician Michael Jackson for a dance contest, causing further uproar.


The next top two Democratic officials in Virginia are also embroiled in controversy in the fallout, one for sexual assault allegations and the other for admitting to donning blackface.

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