Colbert kept going, asking, “Who would be enslaving you in 1898 in New York?” Clarke responded, “The Dutch.”
Sure no past, present or future member of Congress will ever top Shirley Jackson-Lee who thinks we landed on Mars and won the Vietnam War. But you can almost fondly assume that Jackson-Lee is a believer in American exceptionalism. And in her defense we did try to go to Mars and win the Vietnam War.
On the other coast though, there's Congresswoman Yvette Clark who knows so much about American history and that of New York specifically that she should probably join Professor Leonard Jeffries in teaching at CUNY.
Some have called Brooklyn’s decision to become part of New York City 'The Great Mistake of 1898,'" Colbert said. "If you could get in a time machine and go back to 1898, what would you say to those Brooklynites?"
"I would say to them, 'Set me free,'" Clarke said. Pressed by Colbert what she would be free from, the African-American congresswoman responded, "Slavery."
"Slavery. Really? I didn’t realize there was slavery in Brooklyn in 1898," Colbert said, giving Clarke a chance to step back from her remarks. She didn’t.
“I’m pretty sure there was,” Clarke continued.
“It sounds like a horrible part of the United States that kept slavery going until 1898,” Colbert followed.
The lawmaker seemed to pause, saying “Uh.”
But Colbert kept going, asking, “Who would be enslaving you in 1898 in New York?”
Still not finished, Clarke responded, “The Dutch.”
“Those sneaky Dutch bastards,” Colbert said.
Clarke responded, “Exactly.”
There are actually two interlinked phenomena here. One is the total racialization of history. Asked a non-racial question, Clarke responded with an assertion of racial victimhood that was historically out of place. The other is complete ignorance of basic history.
Clarke knew that the Dutch were in charge here at one point, but has absolutely no idea when New Amsterdam became New York. She knows about slavery, but has no idea when that ended. More damningly, she doesn't care. Racial history means that all she really needs to know is that black people were oppressed in America. The details don't matter.
Clarke's "education" was considered a matter of controversy even by the New York Times, but she's a loud obnoxious anti-American leftist. Her ignorance has always been exceeded only by her shrillness. Her position is due purely to gerrymandering and that means that Orthodox Jews are stuck with an Anti-Israel representative. But at least the good news is that this Hamas supporter said, "Dutch", not "Jews".