Photo: Alex Edelman (Getty Images)

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (aka Governor Moonwalk F. Jackson) was trying to mend his broken image during an interview on CBS This Morning and he attempted to maneuver his way out of one minefield only to step on a live hand grenade.

Northam still refuses to step down after website unearthed a photo of a man in blackface standing next to someone in a Ku Klux Klan costume somehow wound up on his medical school yearbook page. During his interview with host Gayle King, the scandal-plagued Democrat claimed that slaves in Virginia during 1619 were “indentured servants.”

“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,” Northam began before being corrected by King, who said: “Also known as slavery.”

“Yes,” Northam agreed.

HuffPost declares the difference between indentured servants as slaves as follows:

Indentured servants were men and women who signed a contract that stipulated they would come to America and work for a certain number of years in exchange for passage, room, board and freedom dues. Slaves were brought here ― against their will ― and forced to work without any hope of gaining their freedom. Those slaves who chose to flee their “masters” were beaten, starved and/or killed

 

So let’s see the paperwork. What happened to these people who were reportedly working on contract? Were they let out of the contract after they served their time? How was a black person even given a contract to agree to be an indentured servant when they weren’t even a considered human.

The first Africans who arrived in America were stolen when two Engish ships attacked a Portuguese vessel, the San Juan Bautista, in the Gulf of Mexico. The Englishmen robbed the Portuguese ship of about 50-60 Africans captured in Angola and split them among the two English vessels. A few weeks later, in August of 1619, the White Lion landed at present-day Hampton, Virginia where they “20. and odd negroes” were sold in exchange for food. 

To be clear, there were Africans who were freed after a period of indentured servitude. Some freed Africans even bought land and became slave owners themselves. However, Virginia had no laws governing indentured servitude which meant whether one was free or not was usually up to the benevolence of the master.

In the book, From Africa to the Emergence of the Cotton Kingdom, historian
Philip S. Foner describes indentured servitude for Africans it this way:

But even while these rights were enjoyed by some blacks, even when there were only few blacks in the colony and white servants still formed the backbone of the labor force, there were distinctions between black and white. This distinction existed in the servant status itself, for although the black servant often was capable of contracting, Negroes usually did not, like white servants, have the benefits of written indentures defining their rights and limiting their periods of service. This lack of labor contracts facilitated their permanent enslavement.

...Some Negro servants were forced to serve for life by masters who simply refused to acknowledge that the period of indenture was completed.

Northam whose college nickname was “Coonman,” added that he’s refusing to step down despite all of Virginia politics being in shambles.

“Virginia needs someone that can heal,” he told King. “There’s no better person to do that than a doctor. Virginia also needs someone who is strong, who has empathy, who has courage and who has a moral compass. And that’s why I’m not going anywhere.”

Isn’t that just like a white man? To boldly go beyond the calls for his resignation after blackface photos emerged and believe that in his hands hold the healing. Initially, the governor admitted to being one of the individuals in the photo and then claimed that it wasn’t him. He also added that he did once paint his face black during his Michael Jackson phase but there are no photos of it, HuffPost reports.

But nah, son you can’t moonwalk away from this one.