Virginia's governor digs an even deeper hole with his 'indentured servants' comparison

Heather Dockray

Governor Ralph Northam has dug himself so far into a hole I'm not sure who can rescue him.

The Virginia governor is already under pressure to resign after a photo emerged of his yearbook page featuring two people, one in blackface and one dressed as a Ku Klux Klan member. The governor claimed he's not either of the people in that photo, but then admitted he once put shoe polish on his face for a Michael Jackson costume. 

Northam, who has so far resisted calls to resign, stirred up controversy on CBS This Morning Sunday after he initially referred to the Africans who landed on Virginia's shores hundreds of years ago as "indentured servants."

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"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 said on the show.

"Also known as slavery," Gayle King said, interrupting him.

"Yes," Northam conceded.

Were Northam not in the situation he's in, this moment might have gone by unnoticed. As it is, however, the governor came under fire for seemingly minimizing this grotesque chapter of Virginia history:

Other journalists and critics weren't so sure that Northam committed a grand gaffe on Sunday (though no one disputes how much trouble he's created for himself generally). 

Approximately 47 percent of Virginians believe Northam should step down, according to a new poll  conducted by The Washington Post-Schar School.

Northam has pledged to remain in office despite public pressure.

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