Gov. Ralph Northam Calls Slaves ‘Indentured Servants’ In Interview, Gets Corrected

Gov. Ralph Northam Calls Slaves ‘Indentured Servants’ In Interview, Gets Corrected

Ralph Northam says he's "not going anywhere" in spite of a racist photo printed in his medical school yearbook.

"The first indentured servants from Africa landed on our shores in Old Point Comfort, what we call now Fort Monroe, and while ..." the governor was telling CBS This Morning co-host Gayle King before the presenter interrupted to correct the politician, clarifying that the term Northam used is much better known as "slavery".

He told King that despite the calls for him to step down, "I'm not going anywhere".

According to excerpts of the interview provided on Sunday by CBS, Northam was asked about allegations of sexual crimes, including rape, that have been made by two women against Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax, a fellow Democrat and the state's second-highest elected official.

Calls for Fairfax to step aside have come from many people, including several potential Democratic presidential hopefuls.

Calls for Fairfax to step aside have come from state House and Senate Democrats, the Legislative Black Caucus, former Democratic governor Terry McAuliffe, Virginia's two us senators - Tim Kaine and Mark Warner, also both Democrats - and several potential Democratic presidential hopefuls.

In a statement on Saturday, Fairfax said his encounters with two women who have accused him of sexual assault were consensual.

"The Lt. Governor is aggressively exploring options for a thorough, independent, and impartial investigation of these allegations".

He believes that an inherently political process is not the most likely path for learning the truth.

Gov. Ralph Northam and Attorney General Mark Herring, both Democrats, are embroiled in their own scandal after acknowledging they wore blackface in the 1980s.

Watson alleges Fairfax raped her while they were students at Duke University in 2000, her attorney said in a statement.

Northam said he had been especially affected by a conversation with a black lawmaker, whom he declined to name, on the topic of blackface.

The Washington Post-Schar School poll, conducted Wednesday through Friday, found Virginia's broader population to be split evenly about Northam's fate, with 47 percent wanting him to stay and the same percentage wanting him to resign.

Attorney Nancy Erika Smith released the statement Saturday night on behalf of Meredith Watson after Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax denied the allegation and called for the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other authorities to investigate.

But he acknowledged wearing blackface on a separate occasion that year while dressing up as Michael Jackson.

"Initially, I could have forgiven him, and I think he could have gotten past it".

Twitter, however, wasn't impressed by Northam's progress so far. "To do so, would violate any principles I have of faith that says a person can not change", he told AFP. It will be very positive and you know we have a number of inequities in this country right now and in Virginia.