Michelle Obama made history last night when she publicly acknowledged the fact that that White House, the seat of the American presidency, was built by African-American slave labor. Referring both metaphorically and literally how the iconic mansion at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and the nation that it governs was built by humans that were considered property, Michelle noted that “I wake up every morning in a house built by slaves.”
It’s an uncomfortable truth that our nation has to accept if we are ever to exorcize the demons of racism from our society. But it’s made even harder by the fact that there are those among us who somehow want to strip black Americans of even this achievement:
@NickKristof “built by slaves?” Why don’t you correct her? Irish, free men, Scots who taught slaves masonry etc. sick of her nonsense.
— Jennifer (@Jenna814) July 26, 2016
That’s right. Some Americans are so intent on delegimitizing every black achievement and so deeply committed to marginalizing the role that black slaves played in building this nation that they can’t even give them credit for their own slave labor, When you look at the actual historical record, it’s even more ironic once you consider that the builders were forced to use slave labor because whites refused to do the job themselves.
— joc (@ayjocelyn) July 26, 2016
This kind of attitude is representative of everything that’s wrong with America.
If you were looking for more proof:
— PolitiFact (@PolitiFact) July 26, 2016
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Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.