Were Y’all Always This Clueless? Or Is This Willful Ignorance?

On Monday night, Michelle Obama gave her speech at the Democratic National Convention. I didn’t watch the speech, as I am not watching the convention. But I did see clips of it afterward.

The big point that has been talked about since that speech has been when Michelle pointed out that she lives in a house that slaves built.

Was this news to white people? Because there can be no other explanation for so many media outlets AND Smithsonian Magazine to “fact check” that line.

SLAVES BUILT THE WHITE HOUSE!

SLAVES BUILT MOST OF THE U.S. CAPITOL BUILDING!

SLAVES BUILT MOST OF WASHINGTON, D.C.!  (the old part of it)

How is this news?!!?!??!

In a country where 12 of the first 16 Presidents either OWNED slaves or had other, deep ties to slavery, why did media outlets feel the need to fact-check Michelle Obama’s statement of that? I do not understand this.

Were y’all always this clueless? Or is this yet another example willful ignorance?

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4 thoughts on “Were Y’all Always This Clueless? Or Is This Willful Ignorance?

  1. And while you’re at it, slaves built the UU church in Charleston and noted fan of slavery, John C. Calhoun, Senator from SC and lots of other stuff, (including slave owner and father-in-law to Thomas Clemson, after whom the University and town were both named, after the town’s name was changed from “Calhoun” to Clemson) was a founding member of what is now called All Souls in Washington DC.

    The Charleston church has a marker in a prominent place on its grounds, but I’ve never had the chance to visit All Souls, so I don’t know if it was built by slaves or if that is held up in any way. (That church isn’t in the original building any longer.)

    Most UU churches in the SouthEast are pretty post-slavery, but I wonder if any others are Charleston-esque.

    • I know the minister of the UU Church of Charleston; he’s an old friend.
      And the history of All Souls-DC is fascinating. A dear friend of mine worked there for more than a decade. There is a history written about the congregation, but I don’t remember if it mentions who built the church.

  2. Of course we, or at least I and everyone I know, knew that. I think the fact checking must be for the benefit of those who don’t believe it and don’t believe in climate change and don’t believe in the holocaust.

  3. John Quincy Adams was also a co-founder of All Souls DC. It’s hard for us to realize today that Unitarianism was in those days a religion which discussed a variety of Christian topics, based its preaching on the Bible, and took for granted the complete superiority of college-educated white Anglo-Saxon males over everybody else. I wish I could say it was “willfull ignorance.” More like, we grew up not thinking about it. No one mentioned it, and it never crossed our minds.

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