THE HOUSE THAT SLAVES BUILT

by John Gibson

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Michelle Obama's speech at the Democratic National Convention has been widely praised as the highlight (so far) of the convention.

No mention of ISIS, but no surprise. Why would she? After all, it's the bloody handprint on her husband's record.

However in my view, sticking out like a pulsating neon sign was this line from the First Lady:

"Every morning I wake up in a house that was built by slaves."

I'll admit I find the line aggravating. But not for the first time; she has delivered the line before.

Why am I annoyed? Not because the statement doesn't have some element of truth. Was the White House was built by slaves? Sort of. Yes.

Politifact rates her statement this way.

"(Mrs.)Obama said the White House 'was built by slaves.' Strictly speaking, the White House was not exclusively built by slaves; it was built by a combination of slaves, free blacks and whites. But slaves were significantly involved in the construction of the White House, so we have no quarrel with the way Obama worded her claim. We rate it True."

When Politifact came to this conclusion--"We rate it true"-- it glossed over this from the White House Historical Association:

"Enslaved people quarried and cut the rough stone that was later dressed and laid by Scottish masons to erect the walls of the president's house. The slaves joined a workforce that included local white laborers and artisans from Maryland and Virginia, as well as immigrants from Ireland, Scotland, and other European nations."

Pffft. Those white people hardly did anything. Slaves built the White House. At least, that's the view of the First Lady.

A couple relevant facts: it was 1792. The land for the District of Columbia was ceded to the federal government by two slave states. Slaves lived in the area and were employed in building much of the capitol.

What, then, is the purpose of appropriating the construction of the White House to black slave workers, neglecting to mention other workers?

Mrs. Obama's obsession with pointing an accusing finger at the "slave built" White House looks as though it is intended to pour salt in the wound of slavery, to upset today's African Americans. To remind black Americans today that two centuries ago people in this country were enslaved is to restate the obvious, and her aim to besmirch the image of the White House is callous and calculating.

Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton is saying this about Donald Trump: "(I) don't know how you run for President of the United States if you spend all your time trash talking about the U.S."

Could there be any more pathetic example of "trash talking" the United States than painting in big letters on the White House: "slave built"?

 

Michelle Obama may not think it worth mentioning the atrocities committed by ISIS yesterday, or a few months ago. That doesn't make her husband or the Democrat candidate look good. She obviously doesn't want to talk about the eight cops assassinated by Black Lives Matter activists just in the last month. After all, her husband has validated #BLM with an invitation to the White House. She doesn't want to mention the economy, the underperforming GDP, the wage stagnation, or the millions of people chased out of the workforce. That wouldn't look good for either her husband or his designated successor.

But that White House she lives in?  Slave labor built it.

Shame, America, shame.