I do not really know what to make of this. During her speech on Monday night, Michelle Obama made reference to the fact that she slept every night in a house (the White House) that was “built by slaves,” but that now her two beautiful, intelligent black daughters get to play on the White House lawn, and this is evidence of progress in our country. I dunno, I definitely don’t agree with most everything Michelle Obama says but this seems like a relatively solid point.
Now, was the White House constructed entirely out of slave labor? No. Did slave labor play a major role in it? Yes. I don’t really think anyone should have a huge nit to pick with the fact that Michelle Obama didn’t take the time to point out that some non-slave labor was also used to construct the White House, but then, I forgot to take Bill O’Reilly into account. If O’Reilly had merely pointed out that some non-slaves also participated in the construction of the White House, he would have been making a non-offensive, if irrelevant, point. But being Bill O’Reilly, he could not help himself, and went on to “explain” to Michelle Obama that slavery wasn’t as bad as she was making it out to be:
Political commentator Bill O’Reilly on Tuesday defended the working conditions for the slaves who built the White House, attempting to fact-check Michelle Obama’s speech from the night before.
“Slaves that worked there were well fed and had decent lodgings provided by the government, which stopped hiring slave labor in 1802,” said the host of Fox’s “The Factor.”
Oh, well, the government gave you food. And shelter. Just like every other master who owned slaves and wanted his slaves to actually work instead of die. So why is everyone pretending that slavery was so bad?
But wait, there’s more: O’Reilly went on to say, sure, slaves were used to build the White House, but at least it wasn’t illegal immigrants:
O’Reilly continued his history lesson: “In addition, free blacks, whites, and immigrants also worked on the massive building. There were no illegal immigrants at that time. If you could make it here, you could stay here.”
O’Reilly went on to say that he just couldn’t stop letting his inner history teacher out, which, I think I can speak for everyone except for the denture-wearing racists who enjoy Bill O’Reilly’s particular brand of makeup-covered hogwash, we all are thankful that he isn’t doing in an actual place that purports to teach history.