Bill O’Reilly’s stunning response to Michelle Obama’s DNC speech.
Did Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly just deliver the most breathtakingly ignorant response to Michelle Obama’s DNC speech possible? Yes, I’m afraid he did.
On Monday, our first lady delivered an inspiring and powerful speech about her experiences in the White House and her hopes for our future and our children. As she described “waking up every morning in a house built by slaves” and watching her daughters grow up in that house and play with the dogs on the lawn, Michelle Obama acknowledged our ruthless past and troubled present, while sounding a hopeful note.
Leave it to a jerk like Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly to completely trivialize that passage about slaves building the White House and twist FLOTUS’s meaning beyond recognition. On Tuesday he saved the best for last on his Fox News show, The O’Reilly Factor, and proceeded to white-mansplain Michelle Obama’s statement in his Tip of the Day segment.
Bill O’Reilly white-mansplains Michelle Obama’s mention of slavery: “It was a positive comment. “
You see, Bill O’Reilly’s conservative audience probably got wind of that thing about Michelle Obama “waking up every morning in a house built by slaves.” And they probably don’t like it, because it makes the Founding Fathers of ‘Murica look bad.
Alas, Bill O’Reilly can’t outright deny that the White House — or the executive mansion, as it was known back then — was built by slaves. The mainstream media has fact-checked FLOTUS up the wazoo already (though facts have ever stopped him or anyone else at Fox News before).
— ABC News (@ABC) July 26, 2016
So Bill O’Reilly attempts to frame that inconvenient slavery truth in a “positive way.” No, I am not kidding.
“Michelle Obama referenced slaves building the White House in referring to the evolution of America in a positive way. It was a positive comment. The history behind her remark is fascinating. George Washington selected the site in 1791, and as president laid the cornerstone in 1792. Washington was then running the country out of Philadelphia.”
Bill O’Reilly then reassures us that we didn’t just have slaves building the White House. free blacks, whites and immigrants built it, too.
“Slaves did participate in the construction of the White House. Records show about 400 payments made to slave masters between 1795 and 1801. 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.”
That’s right. Back then, our nation’s plutocrats didn’t need cheap slave labor from “illegal immigrants” with no legal rights because we still had actual slave labor.
After explaining how President John Adams and his wife Abigail moved into the White House while construction was still going on, Bill O’Reilly dropped a bombshell.
“Slaves that worked there were well-fed and had decent lodgings provided by the government, which stopped hiring slave labor in 1802. However, the feds did not forbid subcontractors from using slave labor. So, Michelle Obama is essentially correct in citing slaves as builders of the White House, but there were others working as well. Got it all? There will be a quiz.”
That’s right. Bill O’Reilly just basically called the black slaves who built our White House “well-fed” moochers with “decent lodgings provided by the [US] government” which very kindly “stopped hiring slave labor in 1802. Are you freaking kidding me?
Apparently not. Now that he’s set us straight, Bill O’Reilly refers to the career of his youth and declares, “I just can’t get rid of that history teacher thing. You know what I’m talking about?”
Seriously, Bill O’Reilly’s reasoning stops barely short of saying that slavery in America was perfectly fair…Because back then those lazy welfare moochers had to work for the food and lodgings so graciously provided by the government that had enslaved them. Unlike in the present day, he leaves unsaid. But it hangs heavily in the air like those watermelon-sized balls Bill O’Reilly must surely have or he’d never say anything like that on national television.
Yet, when you see Bill O’Reilly out and about in public, he walks perfectly normally.
Watch: Bill O’Reilly insists the black slaves who built the White House were “well-fed” and given “decent lodgings.”
Featured image: Video screen grab/Fox News.