During her speech at the Democratic National Convention on Monday, First Lady, Michelle Obama, reminded her audience of a bit of history – and perhaps, irony – when she mentioned that it is not lost on Mrs. Obama that for the past seven and a half years, she and her family have lived in a house that was built by slaves.
“I wake up every morning in a house that was built by slaves,” Mrs. Obama said in her speech. “I watch my daughters — two beautiful, intelligent, black young women — playing with their dogs on the White House lawn.”
Bill O’Reilly decided that he was going to fact check this statement.
After apparently confirming that, indeed, it was a fact that slaves had built the White House, O’Reilly decided to defend their working conditions on his show:
“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.”
But O’Reilly is not the problem. He is but a symptom of decades of a Republican Party that has stoked racism, hatred, and defending at any cost, and with any nonsense, a history of slavery which cannot be defended, while at the same time not denying it.
The Republican Party, as part of its strategy to stoke racism, has engaged in a campaign of viewing equality as a zero sum game. That if people of color achieve, that if women achieve, then it is that much more achievement that is removed from white men. That if people of color or women or LGBT persons are celebrated, that it is done somehow at a cost to white men, and that somehow, it is a swipe at white men.
Indeed, Bill O’Reilly’s comments are par for the course when one examines the decades that the Republican Party has invested into welcoming into its tent every racist in this nation.
The thoughts and opinions expressed here are solely those of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect the views of Citizen Slant.