It seems as if the history of Blackface isn’t the only history that embattled Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam struggles with.

In an interview with CBS This Morning host Gayle King that is set to air on Monday, the Democratic governor started out on a poor note, referencing the “indentured servants from Africa” who, as we know, were forcibly brought to Virginia.

“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…” Northam began before King swiftly interrupted him.

“Also known as slavery,” she interjected.

“Yes,” Northam acknowledged.

I’m not sure what revisionist history Norham has been studying, but there are of course clear differences been indentured servitude and slavery. Although the lives of indentured servants were harsh and restrictive, as PBS notes, they typically agreed to contracts of anywhere ranging from four to seven years, in exchange to passage to America, room, and eventually freedom. There were laws that protected some of their rights.

Africans were brought to America against their will to work as slaves, seen as chattel, and had no hope of freedom. Those who tried to escape were beaten and even killed.

Needless to say, Northam’s comments dredged up even harsher criticisms, because really folks, this is elementary knowledge, and that a 59-year-old man who is leading a commonwealth can’t get those facts straight in addition to his other problematic issues, is, well, a problem.

Northam was quick to respond to his critics once more, claiming, “A historian advised me that the use of indentured was more historically accurate-  the fact is, I’m still learning and committed to getting it right.”

Northam has faced calls for his resignation since earlier this month when a racist photo surfaced in his 1984 medical school yearbook, showing two men side by side, one in Blackface, the other in full KKK garb.

The governor has said that he is neither of the individuals shown and has staunchly refused to step down from his position.

It was a sentiment he repeated in his interview with King.

“Why do you think you deserve this job when so many people are calling for you to step down,” King asked bluntly.

“I’m a leader,” Northam insisted.

“I’ve been in some very difficult situations, life and death situations taking care of sick children,” he continued, referencing his career as a doctor. “Virginia needs someone that can heal. There’s no better person to do that than a doctor. Virginia also needs someone who is strong, who has empathy, who has the courage and who has a moral compass. And that’s why I’m not going anywhere.”

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