Wednesday, September 5, 2012
Black congresswoman believes that slavery in the United States persisted under the Dutch as late as 1898
Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-N.Y.) botched American and Brooklyn political history during a recent appearance on "The Colbert Report". Colbert was quizzing Clarke on the history of her borough. "Some have called Brooklyn’s decision to become part of New York City 'The Great Mistake of 1898,' " Colbert said. "If you could get in a time machine and go back to 1898, what would you say to those Brooklynites?" "I would say to them, 'Set me free,' " Clarke said. Pressed by Colbert what she would be free from, the black congresswoman responded, "Slavery." "Slavery. Really? I didn’t realize there was slavery in Brooklyn in 1898," Colbert responded, seemingly looking to give the lawmaker a chance to catch her error. "I’m pretty sure there was," Clarke responded. "It sounds like a horrible part of the United States that kept slavery going until 1898," the late-night comedian then quipped. Colbert pressed on, asking, "Who would be enslaving you in 1898 in New York?" At that point, Clarke responded, "The Dutch." Of course, the 13th Amendment to the Constitution outlawed slavery in 1865, the Dutch lost control of Brooklyn in a treaty with the British in 1674, and American sovereignty over the colonies was recognized by the Treaty of Paris in 1783.