Bill O’Reilly, ignorantly responding to Michelle Obama while defending slavery:
Slaves that worked there were well-fed and had decent lodgings provided by the government, which stopped hiring slave labor in 1802. However, the feds did not forbid subcontractors from using slave labor. So, Michelle Obama is essentially correct in citing slaves as builders of the White House, but there were others working as well. Got it all? There will be a quiz.
This is something that so many Republicans and conservatives in the U.S. have incredible difficulty understanding – holding people as property and forcing them to work for your benefit is not somehow less abhorrent because you may have treated those human beings marginally better than the monster on the left or the right of you.
Human slavery was horrific, inexcusable, unforgivable, created generations of misery, suffering and far-reaching consequences that still impact 21st century society and Americans have absolutely no right to expect it to be forgotten and forgiven, no matter how uncomfortable they may feel about the topic. Any adult human being making excuses like O’Reilly and so many other conservatives do whenever this topic is discussed with the whole They Were Treated Well By So-and-So and There Were Black Slave-Owners Too narrative is not fit to be in public with rational, emotionally stable adults.
This is basic racist apologia, absence of empathy and an utter lack of understanding of basic historical facts. You are not treating a person “well” when you force them to work for you under threat of torture, punishment, rape and murder. How is this hard for so many Christian and social conservatives to understand?
What is broken in a person that would make them think they need to defend this utter annihilation of the self-sovereignty, dignity and spirit of other human beings? Why do so many Americans think this is something to be respected and remembered fondly?
Keep pushing back. Keep making people uncomfortable. Don’t accept historical revisionism and know-nothing politics as the new norm.
Founder and Publisher,
The Multiracial Activist