Fox News’ most popular prime time host, Bill O’Reilly, responded to First Lady Michelle Obama’s speech at the 2016 Democratic Convention and ended up defending the practice of slavery.
Responding to Mrs. Obama’s comment during her address that she lived in a White House “built by slaves,” O’Reilly referred to himself as a “history teacher” and argued that the slaves who worked on the White House were “well fed” and “had decent lodgings provided by the government.”
O’Reilly also said in his commentary, “Michelle Obama is essentially correct in citing slaves as builders of the White House, but there were others working as well.”
In the day after Obama’s speech, other conservatives amazingly criticized the First Lady, trying to play “gotcha” on her remarks – which were actually a positive statement about America, pointing out the progress from slavery to a black First Family.
The fact-checking site Politifact even had to release a report in response to these conservative complaints, including some who said the building was not worked on by slaves. They rated the First Lady’s speech as “True.”
Journalist Jesse J. Holland also discussed the role of slaves in building the White House in his 2016 book, The Invisibles: The Untold Story of African American Slaves in the White House.
“With the invention of steam shovels still several years away, these slaves dug for the clay on site with hand shovels, working day and night to get the raw material to the skilled brick makers and at the same time, opening up ground on the site for the space that would become the White House’s foundation and cellar,” Holland wrote. The identity of these slaves and where they came from has been lost, he wrote.
Obama’s statement is “true,” Holland told PolitiFact.
The Obamas have driven the conservative movement crazy. No matter what they are for, the right finds a way to support the opposite. Even the indefensible.
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