Virginia Governor: Not Quitting in Blackface Scandal

Video Fairfax...It is obvious that a vicious and co-ordinated smear campaign is being orchestrated against

Video Fairfax...It is obvious that a vicious and co-ordinated smear campaign is being orchestrated against

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam referred to slaves as indentured servants while speaking about his blackface scandal on CBS This Morning.

The Democratic governor told Gayle King on CBS' Face the Nation that, "Yes, I have thought about resigning".

US Historians say they were "shocked" and "mystified" when Virginia Governor Ralph Northam wrongly used the term "indentured servants" Sunday in reference to the first Africans to arrive in English North America 400 years ago. "And that's why I felt so strongly about going in front of the camera on Saturday and clarifying", the governor said.

Earlier this month, on February 1, a photo from Northam's medical school yearbook was resurfaced, appearing to show the politician and another person wearing racist costumes - with one dressed in blackface and another wearing KKK robes, according to The Virginian-Pilot.

He apologized about the yearbook photo, admitted to wearing blackface during a different event - during a dance contest, when he dressed up as Michael Jackson, he said - and said he is committed to learning from his mistakes.

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"It's obvious from what happened this week that we still have a lot of work to do", he said in an interview with The Washington Post on Saturday.

He said he would "focus on race and equity" as his "commitment to Virginia" for the next three years.

The Associated Press generally does not name people who say they are victims of sexual assault, but both women have come forward voluntarily.

"The legacy of slavery, racism and the Jim Crow era remains an albatross around the necks of African Americans", said a statement from the state assembly's powerful Black Caucus, which like the NAACP has urged Northam to stand down. In a poll conducted late last week by The Washington Post and the Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University, respondents were evenly divided as to whether Northam should resign. On Sunday, a spokeswoman for the Fairfax said he was "aggressively exploring options for a thorough, independent, and impartial investigation" of the allegations.

"I was born in white privilege and that has implications to it", Northam said. But Fairfax, too, his facing his own controversies at the moment, with two women accusing him of sexual assault. Vanessa Tyson went public with her allegation against Fairfax, claiming he forced her to perform oral sex on him during the 2004 Democrat National Convention in Boston.

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Fairfax has said encounters with his accusers in 2000 and 2004 were consensual and has asked the FBI to investigate.

Patrick Hope, a Democratic member of the state's House of Delegates, said he believed Fairfax should have resigned already after two women accused him of sexual assault but added he would not move immediately on his weekend call for impeachment proceedings. Fairfax's second accuser, Meredith Watson, alleged Friday that the embattled Virginia Democrat raped her at Duke University in 2000.

If Fairfax were to leave, it's unclear who could replace him as lieutenant governor.

Northam has been in seclusion all week, using tunnels to shuttle between the mansion and the nearby building where he has an office. He's a Republican, which is giving the Democratic officerholders another reason to try to keep their positions.

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