Congresswoman Yvette Clarke went on The Colbert Report last night, where she argued some questionable points regarding her borough’s history. Notably, Ms. Clarke contended that the Dutch continued the practice of slavery in Brooklyn in 1898.
However, the Netherlands lost control of its colonies in the area to England in the 1674 Treaty of Westminster. Also, the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution officially outlawed slavery in 1865.
View the transcript and the video below:
Colbert: Some have called Brooklyn’s decision to become part of New York City, “The Great Mistake of 1898.” If you could get in a time machine and go back to 1898, what would you say to those Brooklynites?
Clarke: I would say to them, “Set me free!”
Colbert: Slavery. Really? I didn’t realize there was slavery in Brooklyn in 1898.
Clarke: I’m pretty sure there was.
Colbert: It sounds like a horrible part of the United States that kept slavery going until 1898.
Clarke: Uh …
Colbert: Who would be enslaving you in 1898 in New York?
Clarke: The Dutch.
Colbert: Those sneaky Dutch bastards.