Virginia used to be known for “slavery, plantations and being the capital of the confederacy,” Trevor Noah told viewers on Monday night’s Daily Show. “But now that proud history is being tainted by accusations of racism.”
Eleven days after Ralph Northam’s racist yearbook page first surfaced, the Democratic governor has managed to resist louder and louder calls to resign—thanks in large part to the troubling sexual assault allegations against his lieutenant Justin Fairfax.
Noah took a look at Northam’s damage control, which included a televised interview with CBS News’ Gayle King that somehow made things worse for himself. “Credit to Northam for trying to learn and improve,” the host said. “But now ironically he’s learned so much about black history that it’s getting him into even more trouble.” He was referring to the moment during the interview when Northam referred to slaves as “indentured servants.”
“What do you call blackface, ‘extreme tanning?’” Noah asked, cringing. “What do you call AIDS, ‘permanent flu?’” To be “fair” to Northam, the host pointed out that “some historians do say that the first Africans to arrive in Virginia were actually indentured servants, not slaves.”
But that being said, he added, “I’m not going to lie, one of the things that makes Northam so entertaining is that he’s like the Michael Scott of politics. Every time he tries to get himself out of a hole, he just keeps digging himself deeper.”
Noah ended the segment by suggesting that black Virginians might be better off keeping Northam in office. “Because until his term is over,” he said, “He’s going to be working every day to pay black people back for what he’s done.”
“And I know what you’re saying, like, ‘What are you thinking, Trevor, he’s their slave?’” he asked. “No, no, no, not slave. Indentured servant.”