By Governor Ralph Northam, Governor of Virginia

For years, when people would see me in the street and say, “Hello Governor Ralph Northam,” I would blindly say hello right back. But after giving it a lot of thought, I now realize that I am not Governor Ralph Northam.

Believe me, no one is more surprised to find out that I, Governor Ralph Northam, am not Governor Ralph Northam!

Let me, by which I mean a person who is not me, but someone completely different, try to explain.

Have you ever had an experience where thousands of journalists discover an old photo of you, taken in 1984, after a long night of shucking, jiving, and tap-dancing at a Halloween party, and in the photo you’re wearing full minstrel get-up and blackface? Or, maybe it’s a 34-year-old photo of you chilling in your KKK robes after a mock lynching.

Of course you’ve had such an experience — it’s happened to all of us! But, if you’re like me, you don’t recall being in those old photos, because, after deep introspection, you’ve suddenly discovered that you’re not really you and never have been. All your life, you’ve been someone else! Specifically, someone who never posed for a photo in blackface or KKK robes.

I know this all sounds very confusing, but that’s the way life’s been for me! And again, when I say me, I mean someone else who is not me at all.

Anyway, if you see me, a person who is not Governor Ralph Northam, stop and say, “Hello Governor Ralph Northam!” And as for that puzzled look on my face — that’s not my face, that’s somebody else’s face.

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