Tags: white house | built by slaves | michelle obama | dnc

Was the White House Built by Slaves? 'Well-Fed' Ones, Says O'Reilly

Image: Was the White House Built by Slaves? 'Well-Fed' Ones, Says O'Reilly
(AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

By    |   Wednesday, 27 Jul 2016 09:57 AM

Fact checkers questioned this week whether the White House was built by slaves after First Lady Michelle Obama said as much in her speech at the Democratic National Convention.

"I wake up every morning in a house that was built by slaves," she said. "And I watch my daughters, two beautiful, intelligent black young women, playing with their dogs on the White House lawn."

According to the White House Historical Association, the First Lady is correct in her assertion. In fact, construction of the White House began in 1792 and commissioners "initially planned to import workers from Europe to meet their labor needs. However, response to recruitment was dismal and soon they turned to African American—enslaved and free—to provide the bulk of labor that built the White House, the United States Capitol, and other early government buildings."

Some critics took issue with Michelle Obama's comments, saying they were racially divisive, The New York Times reported. Others lauded the First Lady.

"We as Americans build up a myth of our country, and a lot of times, we don’t want to look behind that myth," Jesse Holland, a Washington-based journalist who has written about slaves in the White House, told the Times. "For me, finding out the truth and acknowledging the participation of everyone in the construction of this country just makes our country richer."

Fox News political commentator Bill O’Reilly attempted to downplay the slave labor, saying on the "O'Reilly Factor" that "Slaves that worked there were well-fed and had decent lodgings provided by the government, which stopped hiring slave labor in 1802."



Many Twitter users, however, objected to O'Reilly's take on issue.







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Fact checkers questioned this week whether the White House was built by slaves after First Lady Michelle Obama said as much in her speech at the Democratic National Convention.
white house, built by slaves, michelle obama, dnc
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2016-57-27
Wednesday, 27 Jul 2016 09:57 AM
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