Embattled Virginia Governor suggests that black slaves were simply “indentured servants.”

By |2019-02-11T09:19:54-09:00February 11th, 2019|Categories: News|Tags: , , , , |9 Comments

Courtesy of The Hill:

“CBS This Morning” co-host Gayle King corrected Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) after he referred to slaves as “indentured servants.”

The comment came in Northam’s first televised interview since he began facing calls to resign over a blackface scandal, in which he urged healing.

“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, before King cut him off.

“Also known as slavery,” King said.

“Yes,” Northam responded.

What the shit?

Look I was willing to give Northam some benefit of the doubt, but this is absolutely a dog whistle for white supremacists. 

That is the group to constantly tries to minimize the black slave experience and suggest that they came here to find work and that they are better off for having done so. 

But that is definitely not the case. 

Here is the definition for an indentured servant:

Indentured servants were men and women who signed a contract (also known as an indenture or a covenant) by which they agreed to work for a certain number of years in exchange for transportation to Virginia and, once they arrived, food, clothing, and shelter. Adults usually served for four to seven years and children sometimes for much longer.

Does that sound like the experience that black slaves had in this country to anybody?

They did not sign a contract, and they did not have a term in which they were expected to work unless that term was from the time they were purchased at a slave auction until they dropped dead in the fields. 

Not only that but if their master died they could be inherited by another family member just like a piece of furniture of livestock. 

And if they had any children those children were also considered property and could be sold to other white men as well.

After this bullshit statement, I am now pretty convinced that Northam was definitely not the guy in the black face but instead the guy in the KKK robes. 

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  1. Anon February 11, 2019 at 2:02 pm

    This fucking guy. I never did believe anything good could come out of Virginia.

  2. Beaglemom February 11, 2019 at 3:52 pm

    My God, slavery is slavery. Any attempt to modify it or justify it somehow is doomed to failure as it should and must be. The American South lost the Civil War and now, over 100 years later, the South had better own its own very evil history and start working to provide genuinely equal opportunities for those African Americans who still live there. A good start would be to allow them to vote – with no more hurdles than other Southerners face. Then, education should be constantly addressed to make sure that no one is left out or given fewer or lesser opportunities because of race.

    I’ll never forget the silence that engulfed the dinner table when a relative of my husband’s tried out her “but slaves were so well taken care” nonsense. She may have been the hostess but she heard from her guests as soon as they recovered from their shock at her words. I’ll also never forget my unease when we toured a South Carolina garden on the grounds of a former slave-owning rice plantation where a recorded narration by an African American man described the chores and daily lives of the slaves, referring to them as “males” and “females.” They were men and women, just like the plantation owners and the visitors to the garden, but they toiled and died too young of malaria and other diseases and their children were often removed from them and sold on. All because the plantation owners were too lazy to do their own hard work. I have been haunted by that visit to this day.

    • Anonymous February 12, 2019 at 8:01 am

      It’s not even that they were too lazy, but, had they not had slaves, they would have had to hire white workers who would have expected some wages for their work. They would not have had women or girls to rape at will; no men to whip on to take out their aggressions and feel superior to in their warped minds. Hope they received what was due them.

  3. Anonymous February 11, 2019 at 6:58 pm

    I think we need to stop the takling, finger pointing, demands and take the tar off of the heat and stop plucking the chickens.

    We need to defer to our African American colleagues on Northam and the Virginia AG.

    We need to tread delicately about the Lt. Gov too. Let us not deny him due process like Al Franken.

    Above all we need to see the big picture and what the Republicans are doing.

    None of this came out until after the election was over and the Republicans lost. Now they are looking to eliminate the Governor, Lt. Governor and Atty Gen. of Virginia? Why? The next in line is a Republican. This is just another power grabbing tactic like voter suppression and gerrymandering. They will stop at nothing to gain power and control.

    While wearing black face may be abhorrent to us, this was 35 years ago and in Virginia. I’m not surprised. But it is also NOT ILLEGAL. Not then. Not now. So let’s keep our priorities straight and look at the bigger picture.

    • Beaglemom February 12, 2019 at 3:30 am

      I agree with you, Anon at 6:58 pm, but Northam shouldn’t have made his comment equating slavery and indentured servitude. All he did was dig himself in deeper.

      • Anonymous February 14, 2019 at 9:16 pm

        Unfortunately, he followed bad advice from some supposed history expert saying this is now the politically correct way to refer to slavery. Either the guy was intentionally sabotaging Northam or it was a southern supremacist spewing the new right wing re-writing of history.

        Those who are the only ones justified in passing judgement have said they’ve looked at what Northam has done for blacks and civil rights in the past 35 years and are not calling on him to resign. I’ll follow their lead.

  4. Anonymous February 11, 2019 at 9:30 pm

    Paula deans twin. What an asshole. Cant effing believe these people refuse to move forward and learn by history. Instead they seem to yearn for the pre gone with the wind days.

    • dowl February 12, 2019 at 9:25 pm

      It is all about ‘The War of Northern Aggression’ and of course, ‘The South Will Rise Again.’ It is important to Gov. Northam that his white supporters be assured of white supremacy even when we now refer to some districts and US geographical areas as ‘majority minority’ to soothe the agitated spirits of those who are too genteel to say ‘nonwhites.’

  5. Whiplasherman February 12, 2019 at 6:30 am

    Yep this is pretty much confirmation. Every Virginia schoolchild (like myself) is taught the difference between indentured servants, who came over voluntarily to settle Jamestown and Williamsburg, and slaves, who came over chained in slave ships and had to be whipped into submission. Maybe he thought he was being delicate by using an “alternative” to the word slavery, but if so that was pretty poorly thought out.
    BTW, I posted before that he graduated 8 years before I did from Eastern VA Medical School. I thought that given the racial and gender makeup of my class, such blatant racism as blackface wouldn’t have been tolerated in my class. But my wife pulled out my old yearbook, and found pictures of 3 different people in blackface. Well, at least none of them were proudly displayed on the half-page graduates layouts. Disturbing, though, that it was thought acceptable back then … and that I never noticed it in the book before. I might just write to the alumni association and ask that they print an apology to our classmates we offended.

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