Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-N.Y.) apparently needs a refresher on the history of her borough, after she suggested on “The Colbert Report” that slavery persisted in the United States until 1898.
“Some have called Brooklyn’s decision to become part of New York City ‘The Great Mistake of 1898,’ ” Colbert said, asking her about the history of her home borough. “If you could get in a time machine and go back to 1898, what would you say to those Brooklynites?”
“Knowing what I know now… I would say to them, ‘Set me free,’ ” Clarke responded.
“From?” asked Colbert, giving her an out that she didn’t take.
“Slavery,” she replied.
“I’m pretty sure there wasn’t slavery in Brooklyn in 1898,” said the comedy show host.
“I’m pretty sure there was,” said Clarke, without any hint that she might be joking.
“It sounds like a horrible part of the United States that kept slavery going until 1898,” said Colbert.
Clarke went on to say that if she was enslaved, she would have been enslaved by the Dutch.
Slavery was outlawed in 1865 by the 13th Amendment to the Constitution. And the Second Peace of Westminster, which ended the Third Anglo-Dutch War, ceded New York (once New Netherland) to the British hundreds of years before that.
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