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Mon Feb 11, 2019, 08:37 AM

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

Gov. Ralph Northam Calls Slaves ‘Indentured Servants’ In Interview, Gets Corrected
Northam was swiftly corrected by “CBS This Morning” host Gayle King.

By Amy Russo and Hayley Miller

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/ralph-northam-indentured-servants_us_5c61151ae4b0f9e1b17f0417

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam was corrected mid-interview for calling slaves “indentured servants.”

While speaking with “CBS This Morning” host Gayle King, the scandal-plagued Democrat was prompted to discuss his experience in dealing with his own public admission to having worn blackface in 1984.

“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 he was swiftly corrected by King.

“Also known as slavery,” she interrupted.

Northam, nodding in agreement, responded, “Yes.”

<snip>

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 freedom. Those slaves who chose to flee their “masters” were beaten, starved or killed.

Northam responded to his “indentured servants” remark with a statement saying he was “still learning and committed to getting it right.”

<snip>

“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.”

Northam said he’s learned several things since the controversy began unfolding, including that he was “born into white privilege” and that the use of blackface is offensive.

“Yes, I knew it in the past,” he said. “But reality has really set in.”

King pressed him on his apparent revelation about blackface. “You didn’t know the history, know that it was offensive before?” she asked.

″We’re all on a learning curve,” Northam responded. “Certainly, Ms. King, I’m not the same person now at age 59 that I was back in my early 20s.”

He added: “I don’t have any excuses for what I did in my early life.” But I can just tell you that I have learned. I have a lot more to learn. I’m a better person.”

<snip>

Northam’s tenure took a turn at the beginning of February, when an image surfaced from his medical school yearbook showing two men side by side ― one in blackface and the other in a Ku Klux Klan uniform. The governor initially admitted to being one of the individuals pictured, then changed his story, claiming he wasn’t in that particular photo but wore blackface as part of a Michael Jackson costume in a dance competition that same year.

<snip>


It just gets deeper and he's doing all the digging.

72 replies, 1802 views

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Reply Gov. Ralph Northam Calls Slaves 'Indentured Servants' In Interview, Gets Corrected (Original post)
marble falls Feb 11 OP
Blues Heron Feb 11 #1
Yosemito Feb 11 #3
Blues Heron Feb 11 #6
Polly Hennessey Feb 11 #30
Blues Heron Feb 11 #49
Mister Ed Feb 11 #4
jberryhill Feb 11 #9
Blues Heron Feb 11 #13
marble falls Feb 11 #17
Hortensis Feb 11 #31
rusty quoin Feb 11 #2
Ms. Toad Feb 11 #5
BumRushDaShow Feb 11 #10
LineLineLineReply .
jberryhill Feb 11 #14
BumRushDaShow Feb 11 #15
Adrahil Feb 11 #19
BumRushDaShow Feb 11 #20
marble falls Feb 11 #18
LanternWaste Feb 11 #25
Blue_true Feb 11 #24
BumRushDaShow Feb 11 #29
Blue_true Feb 11 #42
BumRushDaShow Feb 11 #46
BumRushDaShow Feb 11 #7
jberryhill Feb 11 #8
BumRushDaShow Feb 11 #11
Blue_true Feb 11 #26
BumRushDaShow Feb 11 #34
wellst0nev0ter Feb 11 #54
BumRushDaShow Feb 11 #56
obamanut2012 Feb 11 #35
BumRushDaShow Feb 11 #39
sprinkleeninow Feb 11 #43
BumRushDaShow Feb 11 #47
EffieBlack Feb 11 #50
rogue emissary Feb 11 #60
BumRushDaShow Feb 11 #68
obamanut2012 Feb 11 #33
BumRushDaShow Feb 11 #40
treestar Feb 11 #12
jcmaine72 Feb 11 #16
obamanut2012 Feb 11 #36
Aristus Feb 11 #21
obamanut2012 Feb 11 #37
Aristus Feb 11 #48
Loki Liesmith Feb 11 #53
EffieBlack Feb 11 #51
Blue_true Feb 11 #63
Aristus Feb 11 #64
Blue_true Feb 11 #65
Hermit-The-Prog Feb 11 #22
Blue_true Feb 11 #23
obamanut2012 Feb 11 #38
EffieBlack Feb 11 #52
Blue_true Feb 11 #62
EffieBlack Feb 11 #66
loyalsister Feb 11 #27
marble falls Feb 11 #28
loyalsister Feb 11 #32
marble falls Feb 11 #41
sprinkleeninow Feb 11 #45
loyalsister Feb 11 #55
marble falls Feb 11 #58
loyalsister Feb 11 #61
marble falls Feb 11 #67
sprinkleeninow Feb 11 #44
theboss Feb 11 #57
marble falls Feb 11 #59
pnwmom Feb 11 #69
Empowerer Feb 12 #70
Hortensis Feb 12 #71
Empowerer Feb 12 #72

Response to marble falls (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2019, 08:49 AM

1. F this clown

Resign

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Response to Blues Heron (Reply #1)

Mon Feb 11, 2019, 08:52 AM

3. Northam doesn't take orders from DUers

Trust me on that one

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Response to Yosemito (Reply #3)

Mon Feb 11, 2019, 09:04 AM

6. ooo burn

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Response to Blues Heron (Reply #6)

Mon Feb 11, 2019, 01:53 PM

30. No, it's true.

Governor Northam does not take orders from DU. It will remain true, no matter how much “ooo burn” Blues Heron. By the way, we have many Blue Herons stop by our pond and sit on the dock. They are beautiful.

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Response to Polly Hennessey (Reply #30)

Mon Feb 11, 2019, 02:44 PM

49. No it's not, you're wrong Polly

Public pressure will force him to step down.

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Response to Blues Heron (Reply #1)

Mon Feb 11, 2019, 08:59 AM

4. It suddenly occurs to me that he might be a useful clown.

Think of it: this guy is the living, breathing embodiment of white privilege.

It seems that the terribly destructive things he's done and said might be born not out of hatred, but out of the incredible blindness and smug self-assurance that comes with white privilege.

If he continues to let himself be publicly schooled in this manner - to be a mirror held up for the rest of us to contemplate the embarrassing disgrace of our white privilege - then maybe he can serve a valuable purpose.

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Response to Blues Heron (Reply #1)

Mon Feb 11, 2019, 09:12 AM

9. Go read something



He was referring to a specific historical event.

The interviewer was ignorant of the history to which he was referring.

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #9)

Mon Feb 11, 2019, 09:14 AM

13. Doubt they signed up as indentured servants when they were forced onto

that slave ship in Africa. you believe this whiewash?

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #9)

Mon Feb 11, 2019, 09:42 AM

17. That was an aberation that was corrected tout suite and not in the "indenture slaves" interest ...

You really ought to read '1493' by Charles Mann. Indentured servitude took four to seven years of ones life at a time when life expectancy was 36, and at a time when the 60% to 80% of English colonists lasted less than two years.


From WIKI

There were no laws regarding slavery early in Virginia's history. But, in 1640, a Virginia court sentenced John Punch, an African, to slavery after he attempted to flee his service.[11] The two whites with whom he fled were sentenced only to an additional year of their indenture, and three years' service to the colony.[12] This marked the first legal sanctioning of slavery in the English colonies and was one of the first legal distinctions made between Europeans and Africans.[11][13]


Slaves shipped to those regions that are part of the present-day United States[14] Date

Slaves
1620–1650 824
1651–1675 0
1676–1700 3,327
1701–1725 3,277
1726–1750 34,004
1751–1775 84,580
1776–1800 67,443
1801–1825 109,545
1826–1850 1,850
1851–1866 476
Total 305,326

In 1641, Massachusetts became the first colony to authorize slavery through enacted law.[15] Massachusetts passed the Body of Liberties, which prohibited slavery in many instances but allowed slaves to be held if they were captives of war, if they sold themselves into slavery or were purchased elsewhere, or if they were sentenced to slavery as punishment by the governing authority.[15] The Body of Liberties used the word "strangers" to refer to people bought and sold as slaves; they were generally not English subjects. Colonists came to equate this term with Native Americans and Africans.[16]

In 1654, John Casor, a black indentured servant in colonial Virginia, was the first man to be declared a slave in a civil case. He had claimed to an officer that his master, Anthony Johnson, himself a free black, had held him past his indenture term. A neighbor, Robert Parker, told Johnson that if he did not release Casor, he would testify in court to this fact. Under local laws, Johnson was at risk for losing some of his headright lands for violating the terms of indenture. Under duress, Johnson freed Casor. Casor entered into a seven years' indenture with Parker. Feeling cheated, Johnson sued Parker to repossess Casor. A Northampton County, Virginia court ruled for Johnson, declaring that Parker illegally was detaining Casor from his rightful master who legally held him "for the duration of his life".[17]

During the colonial period, the status of slaves was affected by interpretations related to the status of foreigners in England. England had no system of naturalizing immigrants to its island or its colonies. Since persons of African origins were not English subjects by birth, they were among those peoples considered foreigners and generally outside English common law. The colonies struggled with how to classify people born to foreigners and subjects. In 1656 Virginia, Elizabeth Key Grinstead, a mixed-race woman, successfully gained her freedom and that of her son in a challenge to her status by making her case as the baptized Christian daughter of the free Englishman Thomas Key. Her attorney was an English subject, which may have helped her case. (He was also the father of her mixed-race son, and the couple married after Key was freed.)[18]
Slaves on a South Carolina plantation (The Old Plantation, c. 1790)

Shortly after the Elizabeth Key trial and similar challenges, in 1662 the Virginia royal colony approved a law adopting the principle of partus sequitur ventrem (called partus, for short), stating that any children born in the colony would take the status of the mother. A child of an enslaved mother would be born into slavery, regardless if the father were a freeborn Englishman or Christian. This was a reversal of common law practice in England, which ruled that children of English subjects took the status of the father. The change institutionalized the skewed power relationships between slave owners and slave women, freed white men from the legal responsibility to acknowledge or financially support their mixed-race children, and somewhat confined the open scandal of mixed-race children and miscegenation to within the slave quarters.




You used a cheap trick there JBerry.

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #9)

Mon Feb 11, 2019, 01:55 PM

31. Good advice. VA's governor knows the state's history of course.

Although we'd all much prefer to have been an indentured servant than a slave in that era, very little reading would make anyone understand how Northam might have slipped and used the word "indentured" instead of "slave" in discussing the first arrival of African people in 1619. 1619 was also the year the initial contract of indenture established in 1609 was changed to allow planters to "rent" indentured servants from the Virginia Company.

He would know that something like 40% of indentured unfortunates died before their period of usually 4-5 but sometimes as long as 9 or more years of often involuntary servitude ended. Females who became pregnant while in bondage typically had their indentures lengthened, and other excuses were used to keep those who survived in bondage.

Many people who weren't desperate did indenture themselves in hopes of better lives in America, but as word got back about the death rates, the many abuses, the schemes to lengthen indentures, and the often very poor quality of land they were able to claim once free, their proportion lessened. But many adults had no real choice. And many children were sold into indentured servitude by parents who couldn't feed them, while parishes got rid of large numbers of unwanted orphans by selling them, and of course none of those consented.

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Response to marble falls (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2019, 08:49 AM

2. Oh God. I voted for him. Is it too much to ask for those we elect to at least have common sense.

He’s still learning about slavery, yet at a 2nd grade level.

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Response to marble falls (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2019, 09:01 AM

5. There was a thread on this yesterday. He is actually correct.

The early history of blacks in Virginia was as indentured servants (and not just blacks). Slavery came later.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indentured_servitude_in_Virginia

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Response to BumRushDaShow (Reply #10)

Mon Feb 11, 2019, 09:14 AM

14. .

"How the Virginians viewed the Africans is a subject of robust debate. The practice of indentured servitude was longstanding among the English. That’s how many whites began life in the New World, providing labor for a set number of years. At the end of their contracts, they received “freedom dues” of food, clothing and maybe even a parcel of land. But the Africans?

“It’s rather clear that Virginia did not have a set way of dealing with these folks, and it got worked out over time,” Scott says. “They had indentured people in Virginia, and some people may have seen Africans just like they saw other indentured people. We know some people became free, so it looks like they were treated like every other indentured person.”"

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #14)

Mon Feb 11, 2019, 09:17 AM

15. But the assumption with this argument

is that the entire area was run by "the English" and that they are all that matters in the history of that location. The Dutch were in there along with the Portuguese and others with hundreds of slaves. THAT is the point.

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Response to BumRushDaShow (Reply #15)

Mon Feb 11, 2019, 09:51 AM

19. Hmmm missing your point. What you posted...

does not refute what Northam said. He is right... the first Africans in Virginia were indentures. That doesn't erase the fact that it wasn't long before White Virginians began classifying black Africans as property. I did Colonial living history for a long time in MAryland and Virginia. The origins of African slavery in those states is not cut and dried.

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Response to Adrahil (Reply #19)

Mon Feb 11, 2019, 10:34 AM

20. Did you read the links I posted?

The "1619" bullshit is as much of a fairy tale as the "In fourteen-hundred-ninety-two Columbus sailed the ocean blue" and "discovered America" crap.

The sanitized "history" that has been taught over the past century is utterly Anglo-centric (England-focused) and completely ignores all the SLAVES already in the area now known as "Virginia", who were brought there by the marauding Spanish, Dutch, and Portuguese - BEFORE "1619". And these folks interacted with and were traded and sold back and forth to the johnny-come-lately "English" per the linked articles I have in an earlier post (2 of many out there).

As an example of research done about this see this -



One of the earliest versions of the above book was in my household when I was growing up in the mid-'60s. One of my sisters was fortunate enough to have him speak to one of her classes while in middle school in the '70s. Mr. Bennett just passed away last year - http://everettjenkinsbiographies.blogspot.com/2018/02/a00880-lerone-bennett-author-of-before.html

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #14)

Mon Feb 11, 2019, 09:43 AM

18. Please cite that quote.

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #14)

Mon Feb 11, 2019, 01:28 PM

25. Classic Comic ain't good history, son.

Seriously? You're going to rationalize this as something other than what intent clearly illustrates?

Even my freshman History 1301 course stated there's no such thing as Historical Inerrancy.

Your bias for a politician is getting the better of you.

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Response to BumRushDaShow (Reply #10)

Mon Feb 11, 2019, 01:22 PM

24. You are chosing to look with one lense.

I read the article that you linked. The picture is very much mixed. Northam referenced 1619 Virginia, the Blacks brought ashore then were indeed indentured servants. You mentioned the Spanish and Dutch having hundreds of slaves, what was not mentioned was that the one attempt to do that by the Spanish in America failed spectacularly at Jamestown in 1526 when the slaves revolted, effectively wiping out that colony. There is a reference to Blacks in Bermuda in 1616, but that same reference say they were there for their expertise on growing tobacco, it said nothing about their status beyond that.

So again, using his 1619 Virginia reference, Northam was right, Gayle King was wrong, but right in that the WAY that those first Blacks came into indentured servitude was different from their White counterparts.

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Response to Blue_true (Reply #24)

Mon Feb 11, 2019, 01:49 PM

29. Not my "lense"

it is what has been LEFT OUT of the history of this country. I.e., the rest of the story.

You can't possibly ignore all the folks who were already there who were interacting with both the English and even the indigenous groups in the area.

The whole use of the term "1619" is bogus as it is.

This pretty much sums it up -

Telling the story of 1619 as an “English” story also ignores the entirely transnational nature of the early modern Atlantic world and the way competing European powers collectively facilitated racial slavery even as they disagreed about and fought over almost everything else. From the early 1500s forward, the Portuguese, Spanish, English, French, Dutch and others fought to control the resources of the emerging transatlantic world and worked together to facilitate the dislocation of the indigenous peoples of Africa and the Americas. As historian John Thornton has shown us, the African men and women who appeared almost as if by chance in Virginia in 1619 were there because of a chain of events involving Portugal, Spain, the Netherlands and England. Virginia was part of the story, but it was a blip on the radar screen.

<...>

In that light, the most poisonous consequence of raising the curtain with 1619 is that it casually normalizes white Christian Europeans as historical constants and makes African actors little more than dependent variables in the effort to understand what it means to be American. Elevating 1619 has the unintended consequence of cementing in our minds that those very same Europeans who lived quite precipitously and very much on death’s doorstep on the wisp of America were, in fact, already home. But, of course, they were not. Europeans were the outsiders. Selective memory has conditioned us to employ terms like settlers and colonists when we would be better served by thinking of the English as invaders or occupiers. In 1619, Virginia was still Tsenacommacah, Europeans were the non-native species, and the English were the illegal aliens. Uncertainty was still very much the order of the day.

When we make the mistake of fixing this place in time as inherently or inevitably English, we prepare the ground for the assumption that the United States already existed in embryonic fashion. When we allow that idea to go unchallenged, we silently condone the notion that this place is, and always has been, white, Christian, and European.

Where does that leave Africans and people of African descent? Unfortunately, the same insidious logic of 1619 that reinforces the illusion of white permanence necessitates that blacks can only be, ipso facto, abnormal, impermanent, and only tolerable to the degree that they adapt themselves to someone else’s fictional universe. Remembering 1619 may be a way of accessing the memory and dignifying the early presence of black people in the place that would become the United States, but it also imprints in our minds, our national narratives, and our history books that blacks are not from these parts. When we elevate the events of 1619, we establish the conditions for people of African descent to remain, forever, strangers in a strange land.

Read more: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/misguided-focus-1619-beginning-slavery-us-damages-our-understanding-

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Response to BumRushDaShow (Reply #29)

Mon Feb 11, 2019, 02:10 PM

42. Northam's reference point was right, as was his statement.

A lot has been left out of the country's history and not just around the history slavery. The role of the Dutch in this country is largely ignored. The fact that most modern day Americans except for American Indians and African Americans came from initially undocumented immigrants gets dramatically washed over in the romanticism of Ellis Island. That is the way it is, it sucks, but that is the way it is. I chose to look toward what lays ahead of us, and help resolve the problems that past and present day injustices have saddled us with.

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Response to Blue_true (Reply #42)

Mon Feb 11, 2019, 02:16 PM

46. Your post actually refutes what Northam insisted on.

THAT is the problem. The history is so distorted that such definitive remarks such as what he made cannot stand rigorous scrutiny and it would have been best that he left it vague instead.

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Response to marble falls (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2019, 09:05 AM

7. "the first indentured servants from Africa"

He means "indentured servants from Europe", who were the plantation hands and "overseers" who were raping and whipping the hell out of the African slaves under their management.

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Response to BumRushDaShow (Reply #7)

Mon Feb 11, 2019, 09:12 AM

8. No, he was right

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #8)

Mon Feb 11, 2019, 09:13 AM

11. See this post

https://www.democraticunderground.com/100211805814#post10

There were slaves in what is now called "Virginia" brought there before the "English" got involved.

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Response to BumRushDaShow (Reply #11)

Mon Feb 11, 2019, 01:30 PM

26. The article that you linked does not support your argument.

In fact, it supports Nottham more in that he referenced the 1619 date and English colonials. Also, the only attemp by the Spanish to have slaves in that period in what was then America failed badly when the slaves revolted at Jamestown and basically ended that colony in 1526. There was no record of the Spanish establishing slavery in what was then Mexico, slavery later came to that region by expansion from a growing America.

I am not arguing with you about the morality of slavery, to hold people against their will and brutalize them is beyond immoral. What I am debating you on is the reference point that Northam explicitly used. You can argue that he was ignorant to use that reference point, but even in that area, your argument would be debatable.

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Response to Blue_true (Reply #26)

Mon Feb 11, 2019, 02:01 PM

34. See my response here

https://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1002&pid=11806965

And I am not arguing anything about "morality of slavery". I am arguing that you cannot argue that slavery didn't exist at all back then in that geographic location known as "Virginia".

One of the researched issues here has been that these "20-odd" Africans were actually obtained by intercepting a Portuguese slave ship in the West Indies. Meaning they WERE SLAVES. They were NOT sent back to where they came from by the Brits where they? If these "settlers" had been so loving and wonderful, they would have made sure these individuals were returned to their origins.

And it's odd that during black history month that he would even make kind of specific reference to that anyway.

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Response to BumRushDaShow (Reply #34)

Mon Feb 11, 2019, 03:19 PM

54. Whatever supports the white supremacy myths n/t

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Response to wellst0nev0ter (Reply #54)

Mon Feb 11, 2019, 03:21 PM

56. The "history" of North America needs to be started all over. nt

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Response to BumRushDaShow (Reply #11)

Mon Feb 11, 2019, 02:01 PM

35. You are incorrect, and that article doesn't say that

There are enough things to snark at Northam about -- this isn't one. He is correct.

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Response to BumRushDaShow (Reply #11)

Mon Feb 11, 2019, 02:10 PM

43. It's so hard for some to utter the word 'slave'.

Were the vessels carrying them over called 'indentured servant' ships? 😏

Dammmit.

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Response to sprinkleeninow (Reply #43)

Mon Feb 11, 2019, 02:21 PM

47. I posted this here-

And I am not arguing anything about "morality of slavery". I am arguing that you cannot argue that slavery didn't exist at all back then in that geographic location known as "Virginia".

One of the researched issues here has been that these "20-odd" Africans were actually obtained by intercepting a Portuguese slave ship in the West Indies. Meaning they WERE SLAVES. They were NOT sent back to where they came from by the Brits where they? If these "settlers" had been so loving and wonderful, they would have made sure these individuals were returned to their origins.

And it's odd that during black history month that he would even make kind of specific reference to that anyway.

https://www.democraticunderground.com/100211805814#post34


I ask again - why weren't these people returned to their countries of origin? Surely they weren't born and raised in England (or so no research doesn't seem to establish that they were).

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #8)

Mon Feb 11, 2019, 03:06 PM

50. Yes, this reference made perfect sense as part of a conversation about his use of blackface

and clowning around with someone dressed up as a member of the Ku Klux Klan - since we all know how blackface and the Klan are all ugly remnants of the great evil of indentured servitude in Virginia and the United States ...

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #8)

Mon Feb 11, 2019, 05:57 PM

60. Well PBS needs to go talk to Virginia state historians.

Hat tip to Lowell from Bluevirginia



Marker text: FIRST AFRICANS IN ENGLISH AMERICA

The first documented Africans in English America arrived at Jamestown in August 1619. A Dutch man-of-war captured them from the Spanish, who had enslaved them, and sold them to the Virginia colonists. The "twenty and odd" Africans, some of whom had been given Spanish names, may have been treated like indentured servants and later freed after their periods of servitude expired. From this beginning the institution of slavery evolved during the 17th century as the Virginia colonists extended the length of service for Africans from a fixed term to life. The United States abolished slavery in 1865.

Department of Historic Resources, 1992


Notice the PBS site you continue to use says initially. While the Historical marker states may and highlights that those Africans were captured as slaves and sold to Virginians.

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Response to rogue emissary (Reply #60)

Mon Feb 11, 2019, 10:22 PM

68. To supplement your post

I posted this in a different thread - https://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1002&pid=11808552

Info from the historic Jamestown website -

The first Africans arrived in Virginia because of the transatlantic slave trade. Across three and a half centuries—from 1501 to 1867—more than 12.5 million Africans were captured, sold, and transported to the Americas. While Portugal and Spain were the first European powers engaged in this trade, eventually most of the European powers would get involved. It was as profitable as it was brutal.

The Africans who came to Virginia in 1619 had been taken from Angola in West Central Africa. They were captured in a series of wars that was part of much broader Portuguese hostilities against the Kongo and Ndongo kingdoms, and other states. These captives were then forced to march 100-200 miles to the coast to the major slave-trade port of Luanda. They were put on board the San Juan Bautista, which carried 350 captives bound for Vera Cruz, on the coast of Mexico, in the summer of 1619.

Nearing her destination, the slave ship was attacked by two English privateers, the White Lion and the Treasurer, in the Gulf of Mexico and robbed of 50-60 Africans. The two privateers then sailed to Virginia where the White Lion arrived at Point Comfort, or present-day Hampton, Virginia, toward the end of August. John Rolfe, a prominent planter and merchant (and formerly the husband of Pocahontas), reported that “20. and odd Negroes” were “bought for victuals,” (italics added). The majority of the Angolans were acquired by wealthy and well-connected English planters including Governor Sir George Yeardley and the cape, or head, merchant, Abraham Piersey. The Africans were sold into bondage despite Virginia having no clear-cut laws sanctioning slavery.


The Treasurer arrived at Point Comfort a few days after the White Lion but did not stay long, quickly setting sail for the English colony of Bermuda. Prior to leaving port, however, it is possible that 7 to 9 Africans were sold, including a woman named “Angelo” (Angela) who was taken to Lieutenant William Pierce’s Jamestown property, which is currently being excavated. By March 1620, 32 Africans were recorded in a muster as living in Virginia but by 1625 only 23 were recorded. These Africans, scattered throughout homes and farms of the James River Valley, were the first of hundreds of thousands of Africans forced to endure slavery in colonial British America.

https://historicjamestowne.org/history/the-first-africans/


Main website - https://historicjamestowne.org/

The "About" for the above website is here - https://historicjamestowne.org/about/ (yes this is run by foundations and the National Park Service)

I remember some years ago reading articles about the excavations that have been going on at the original location of the settlement as it had been actually flooded out by the James River. I believe they did actually find some building foundations within an area of exactly where it was.

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Response to BumRushDaShow (Reply #7)

Mon Feb 11, 2019, 02:01 PM

33. No, he was right

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Response to obamanut2012 (Reply #33)

Mon Feb 11, 2019, 02:04 PM

40. No.

It's ridiculous going into a "yes it is no it isn't" bullshit. Read the excerpt here -

https://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1002&pid=11806965

Also adding what I wrote here - https://www.democraticunderground.com/100211805814#post34

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Response to marble falls (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2019, 09:14 AM

12. Jumping to conclusions again

And he said he understands white privilege better.

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Response to marble falls (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2019, 09:31 AM

16. How did this idiot ever graduate from med school?

This assclown is single-handily eroding the considerable progress the Democratic Party has made in Virginia over the past twenty years with his incomprehensibly bad judgement.

Sorry, but this fool has to resign. He's bordering on toxic now. We don't need the THugs making this hollow-headed imbecile the poster boy of any future smear campaigns directed at our 2020 Presidential nominee.

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Response to jcmaine72 (Reply #16)

Mon Feb 11, 2019, 02:02 PM

36. Why? For stating historical facts?

He was correct.

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Response to marble falls (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2019, 10:35 AM

21. "Still learning"?

I learned about the difference between slaves and indentured servants when I was in fourth grade!

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Response to Aristus (Reply #21)

Mon Feb 11, 2019, 02:02 PM

37. Then you should know what he said was correct

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Response to obamanut2012 (Reply #37)

Mon Feb 11, 2019, 02:43 PM

48. Um...no.

Slaves and indentured servants were two different things.

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Response to Aristus (Reply #48)

Mon Feb 11, 2019, 03:15 PM

53. Not at first. He was correct.

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Response to obamanut2012 (Reply #37)

Mon Feb 11, 2019, 03:08 PM

51. What do indentured servants have to do with blackface and the KKK, the topic he was discussing?

He was talking about slavery but like many Southerners, he uses euphemisms for it. Just like the Civil War is the "War Between the States" and the "War of Northern Aggression."

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Response to Aristus (Reply #21)

Mon Feb 11, 2019, 06:37 PM

63. Some people learn early, I guess.

I did not know about indentured servitude until after I had finished college. The subject just did not get discussed when I was growing up and I did not get to study it in school. The American history was the watered down version that some on DU complain about. I also did not learn much about the civil war and the despicable KKK at home or in school.

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Response to Blue_true (Reply #63)

Mon Feb 11, 2019, 06:50 PM

64. As a military dependent, I attended Department of Defense schools.

I don't know if that gave me an advantage over civilian public schools. Or if I just had conscientious teachers. My fourth grade teacher was white, and she was married to an African-American man. So maybe she was more attuned to racism in her life than other white teachers.

Anyway, we spent many days of the school year learning about other cultures and societies. After we finished a course on, say, the Bedouins of the Middle East, we would all have a lunch party in which we were served that culture's foods, and were encouraged to wear costumes that simulated that culture's traditional clothing. For the Bedouin party, the boys and girls were separated into different classrooms, and we ate segregated by gender, just like in real life. This event made the local paper.

Other cultures we studied included India, during which I tried curry for the first time. YUM! And certain East African tribes, where we learned to play the kalimba, or mbira, a traditional 'thumb-piano'.

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Response to Aristus (Reply #64)

Mon Feb 11, 2019, 07:12 PM

65. You had forward thinking teachers. My teachers were good, but played things close to the vest.

Only one taught modern culture and discussed modern societal issues.

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Response to marble falls (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2019, 11:58 AM

22. Dear Virginia ...

I will gladly trade you Bevin for your Northam. It would be wonderful to have a governor who does not actively attack education, teachers' retirement, health care, courts, and media. Many Kentuckians would rejoice in having a Democratic governor whose claim to infamy is acting a buffoon over 3 decades ago, rather than acting a trumpist yesterday.

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Response to marble falls (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2019, 01:02 PM

23. Northam was right, Gayle King was wrong.

For the point in time that Northam referenced, Blacks in servitude were in fact indentured servants, just like some Whites that worked beside them. The difference came in HOW both groups came into indentured servitude, Gayle King would have been right in making that distinction, but my guess is she did not know of it.

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Response to Blue_true (Reply #23)

Mon Feb 11, 2019, 02:03 PM

38. This n/t

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Response to Blue_true (Reply #23)

Mon Feb 11, 2019, 03:12 PM

52. He may have been technically accurate in saying some Africans were indentured servants

But if that's the point he was making, it was stupid since he wasn't talking about the legacy of indentured servitude. He was talking about behavior like his wearing blackface, which had nothing to do with indentured servitude but is a filthy remnant of slavery.

And I don't think anyone will find any historical reference to the Klan being founded to torment and keep former "indentured servants" in their places.

He was talking about slavery but tried to water it down - like a lot of backward-thinking white Southerners do - by morphing it with indentured servitude, period.

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Response to EffieBlack (Reply #52)

Mon Feb 11, 2019, 06:31 PM

62. A lot of Whites that are not racist have a problem talking about slavery.

It is one of the defects in human nature where some people don't like talking about or try to sugarcoat stuff they find unpleasant. Northam's composite history appear to say that he is not a racist and wasn't raised that way - I didn't see racist parents send their kids to integrated schools if they could avoid it, his parents made him one of the first White kids in an integrated school, that information has meaning to me because my county integrated schools really late, literally only after a famous southern federal judge started throwing county administrators in jail. Many White parents refused to send their kids into public schools, segregation academies started popping up everywhere, most has vanished after about a decade, but a smattering of them remain today as socalled "Christian academies".

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Response to Blue_true (Reply #62)

Mon Feb 11, 2019, 10:07 PM

66. It's difficult to reconcile his attending desegregated schools with black students and the racist

behavior he engaged in as a medical student.

Last week, many people tried to explain away his behavior by pointing out that he was the product of a racist environment, as if he had no agency. But now, the fact that he attended desegregated schools is being used as some kind of proof of what's REALLY in his heart.

In fact, if he was raised in this integrated, diverse environment, there is NO excuse for his later behavior. But he definitely can't have it both ways.

What I see happening here is, just as you correctly note that a lot of whites that are not racist have a problem talking about slavery, a lot of whites also have difficulty calling out one of their own for racist behavior but, instead, make excuse after excuse for them, regardless the circumstances.

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Response to marble falls (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2019, 01:32 PM

27. Maybe repentance should involve education?

Geez! I was almost ready to trust him. Then he displays the miseducation that is the bedrock of white supremacy. There has been a great deal of scholarly work that relies on the recorded history that was dismissed in favor of noble heroism and romantic REvision. It doesn't take a doctorate program in Black US history to read a few books and be willing to examine the white supremacy that comforts Obama hate, Trump support, and the continuous defense of dehumanizing behaviors.

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Response to loyalsister (Reply #27)

Mon Feb 11, 2019, 01:34 PM

28. Thats the way its supposed to be: You repent, you atone, you go and sin no more.

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Response to marble falls (Reply #28)

Mon Feb 11, 2019, 01:59 PM

32. "not all early European settlers"

Is a pretty bad start. And, adds insult to injury- again. I really hoped he would walk his talk.

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Response to loyalsister (Reply #32)

Mon Feb 11, 2019, 02:09 PM

41. He's made a sorry hash of explaining it and apologizing for it.

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Response to marble falls (Reply #41)

Mon Feb 11, 2019, 02:16 PM

45. That's my take. eom

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Response to marble falls (Reply #41)

Mon Feb 11, 2019, 03:19 PM

55. True

Sadly, he has had an opportunity to use a platform of repentance to do some valuable, productive work in challenging white supremacy. He reverted to white fragility, rather than taking a hard look at why he might interpret calls for racial awareness as a personal insult.
As a white person who cares about race relations, I see resistance and defensiveness as a bigger problem than his original act. It's especially frustrating when it comes from someone who I think has good intentions.

Rather than defending importers who, at minimum, facilitated the construction of an economy based on slave labor, I would rather he had demonstrated a some deep understanding of white privilege if he wants to talk about 1619.
"I have had opportunities like going to med school, having a practice, and becoming governor exactly because slaves were imported, did the hard work that built an infrastructure that prioritized my well being as a descendant of white settlers, and continues to elevate my social standing and make things easier for me as a white man."

When someone is forced to remember their racist history publicly it is only reasonable that they be willing to show regret and take on some personal education. Not out of guilt or even repentance- out of a desire to do better from then on.

Not sure if there is still a chance for him to catch on, but I hopewish it so.

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Response to loyalsister (Reply #55)

Mon Feb 11, 2019, 05:13 PM

58. What he doesn't realize about those 1619 "indentured" slaves is that they were brought in ...

by Spanish slavers. The Spanish were to convert everyone they came across and these slaves became Christians and by English law no Christian could be enslaved, so they became indentured slaves.

Within 20 years of that, indentured black servants were turned into slaves till death in courts all over the south. And the English slavers didn't try to convert any slaves after that. There were slaves in England, too.

I hate the alt right and their cherry picking of fact to create alternate "facts".

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Response to marble falls (Reply #58)

Mon Feb 11, 2019, 06:02 PM

61. tortured logic

Trying to separate any importation of African humans from slavery is like trying to separate the alt. right from the klan.

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Response to loyalsister (Reply #61)

Mon Feb 11, 2019, 10:11 PM

67. Bingo!

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Response to marble falls (Reply #28)

Mon Feb 11, 2019, 02:14 PM

44. You repent/show contrition, say penance. Then go sin some more.

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Response to marble falls (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2019, 03:24 PM

57. Does anyone truly believe that he was making a super-nuanced point here?

Who aside from a PhD in this very narrow specialty would know the subtle differences of the economic status of Africans in this time frame?

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Response to theboss (Reply #57)

Mon Feb 11, 2019, 05:15 PM

59. I think he believes his less than facile tongue will somehow talk all this away. Instead ...

exposing history, he should be exposing his soul.

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Response to marble falls (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2019, 10:41 PM

69. He was repeating the viewpoint of some historians, that the legal system of slavery in VA

didn't begin till the 1640's and beyond -- at least according to the citations in Wikipedia.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_slavery_in_Virginia

Though the history of blacks in Virginia begins in 1619, the transition of status from indentured servant to lifelong slave was a gradual process. Some historians believe that some of the first blacks who arrived in Virginia were already slaves, while others say they were taken into the colony as indentured servants. Historians generally believe slavery in the English colonies in North America did not begin as an institution until the 1660s.[7]

Early cases show differences in treatment between Negro and European indentured servants. In 1640, the General Virginia Court decided the Emmanuel case. Emmanuel was a Negro indentured servant who participated in a plot to escape along with six white servants. Together, they stole corn, powder, and shot guns but were caught before making their escape. The members of the group were each convicted; they were sentenced to a variety of punishments. Christopher Miller, the leader of the group, was sentenced to wear shackles for one year. White servant John Williams was sentenced to serve the colony for an extra seven years. Peter Willcocke was branded, whipped, and was required to serve the colony for an additional seven years. Richard Cookson was required to serve for two additional years. Emmanuel, the Negro, was whipped and branded with an "R" on his cheek. All of the white servants had their terms of servitude increased by some extent, but the court did not extend Emmanuel's time of service. Many historians speculate Emmanuel was already a servant for life. While Emmanuel's status is not defined in the records, his being branded shows a difference in how white servants and black servants were treated. Though this case suggests that slavery existed, the distinction of lifetime servitude or slavery associated with Africans or people of African descent was not widespread until later.[8]

That same year, 1640, "the first definite indication of outright enslavement appears in Virginia."[9] John Punch, a Negro indentured servant, escaped from his master, Hugh Gwyn, along with two white servants. Hugh Gwyn petitioned the courts, and the three servants were captured, convicted, and sentenced. The white servants had their indentured contracts extended by four years, but the courts gave John Punch a much harsher sentence. The courts decided that "the third being a negro named John Punch shall serve his said master or his assigns for the time of his natural life here or else where." This is considered the earliest legal documentation of slavery in Virginia. It marked racial disparity in the treatment of black servants and their white counterparts, but also the beginning of Virginian courts reducing Negros from a condition of indentured servitude to slavery. Leon Higginbotham believes the case is evidence that the colony was developing a policy to force Negro laborers to serve terms of life servitude.[8]

In other cases, masters refused to acknowledge the expiration of indentured contracts of blacks, most of whom were illiterate in English. Anthony Johnson was claimed to have held his indentured servant, John Casor, past his term. Johnson was brought to Jamestown in 1621 aboard the James as an indentured servant. By 1623, the Angolan had gained his freedom. By 1651 he was prosperous enough to import five "servants" of his own, for which he was granted 250 acres (1.0 km2) as "headrights".[10] One of his servants was John Casor. Casor later claimed to a neighboring farmer, Robert Parker, that he had completed his term. Parker persuaded Johnson to free Casor, who then went to work for Parker. The farmer signed him to a new term of indenture. Johnson challenged Parker in court, saying he had taken his worker. In the lawsuit of Johnson vs. Parker, the court in Northampton County ruled that "seriously consideringe and maturely weighing the premisses, doe fynde that the saide Mr. Robert Parker most unjustly keepeth the said Negro from Anthony Johnson his master....It is therefore the Judgement of the Court and ordered That the said John Casor Negro forthwith returne unto the service of the said master Anthony Johnson, and that Mr. Robert Parker make payment of all charges in the suit." Casor was returned to Johnson and served him for the rest of his life.

There is evidence in the 1650s that some Virginia Negroes were serving for life. In 1660 the Assembly stated that "in case any English servant shall run away in company with any Negroes who are incapable of making satisfaction by addition of time…[he] shall serve for the time of the said Negroes absence." This statute indicates quite clearly that Negroes served for life and hence could not make "satisfaction" by serving longer once they were recaptured. This phrase gave legal status to the already existing practice of lifetime enslavement of Negroes. Statutes were soon passed to define slavery with more conditions than lifetime servitude.[11]

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #69)

Tue Feb 12, 2019, 02:17 PM

70. To what point?

That blackface wasn't really so bad, after all?

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Response to Empowerer (Reply #70)

Tue Feb 12, 2019, 02:21 PM

71. Just a slip, many atrocities against one group overlapping with another?

Plus, as I said above, 1619 is the year the indenture contract was rewritten to allow planters, some of whom worked and beat labor to death, to "rent" forced labor from the company, something a VA governor would know. POC aren't the only people VA's governor has to understand respect the past of. Before the shift to slaves imported from Africa, the very first in 1619, most of the early "settlers" were white indentured servants, who might or might not live to one day be free again. On average, 40% died before.

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Response to Hortensis (Reply #71)

Tue Feb 12, 2019, 06:27 PM

72. But what do "indentured servants" have to do with his point

Such racist things as blackface, the KKK, derogatory nicknames, etc. aren't part of the legacy of indentured servitude.

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