Northam's Word Choice Gets Him Deeper Into Hot Water

Embattled Virginia governor refers to slaves as 'indentured servants'
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 11, 2019 3:08 PM CST
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam talks during an interview at the Governor's Mansion, Saturday, Feb. 9, 2019 in Richmond, Va.   (Katherine Frey/The Washington Post via AP)

(Newser) – Virginia's already-embattled governor may have stepped in it Monday: In an interview with CBS This Morning, Ralph Northam, embroiled in a blackface scandal, started things off by saying:

  • "Well it has been a difficult week. And you know if you look at Virginia's history we are now at the 400-year anniversary—just 90 miles from here in 1619 the first indentured servants from Africa landed on our shores in Old Point Comfort, what we call now Fort Monroe, and while—"
At that point Gayle King, who had started things off by simply asking Northam where he wanted to begin, interrupted him to say, "Also known as slavery." "Yes," Northam replied, continuing, "And while we have made a lot of progress in Virginia—slavery has ended. Schools have been desegregated. We have ended the Jim Crow laws, easier access to voting—it is abundantly clear that we still have a lot of work to do and I really think this week raised a level of awareness in the Commonwealth and in this country that we haven't seen certainly in my lifetime." Read on for criticism of his comments, more from his interview, plus further developments in the state, where the second and third in line for the governorship are facing scandals of their own:

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