U.S. Representative Yvette Clarke is either a jokester or a woman in need of a serious history lesson.
During an appearance on satirical political talk show “The Colbert Report” on Tuesday, the Brooklyn congresswoman responded to host Stephen Colbert’s joke regarding her borough. When Colbert jested that Brooklyn shouldn’t have joined with New York City in 1898 and suggested going back in time to correct the decision; he then asked Rep. Clarke what she would change. With deadpan delivery, Clarke said she would demand to be set free from slavery.
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Colbert quickly seized on the moment. “Slavery…Really? I didn’t realize there was slavery in Brooklyn in 1898,” said Colbert. Clarke fired back immediately with, “I’m pretty sure there was.”
Colbert was relentless in his inquiry and asked the congresswoman who would have been her slave owners at the time – slavery was abolished in the state in 1827. Clarke answered quickly, saying the Dutch would have been her oppressors. This especially troubled historians and the like as the Dutch lost control of the region during the late 1600s.
A spokesperson said that Clarke was joking with Colbert and that reaction to the comments was mixed. Rep. Clarke is attending the Democratic National Convention and wasn’t available for comment. Media gaffes aren’t a new thing for the congresswoman after it was revealed she lied about graduating from Oberlin College in campaign material in 2004 and 2005.
She claimed that foggy memory was the reason for neglecting to tell the truth.