Did Slaves Build The White House? Michelle Obama’s DNC Speech Proven Correct By Fact Checkers
Michelle Obama delivered an inspiring speech on the first day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia that, at one point, stated that slaves had built the White House. Following the speech, Bill O’Reilly and others fact-checked the First Lady.
Slaves Did Build The White House
During Michelle Obama’s speech Monday evening, Day 2 of the DNC, she highlighted the progress the United States has made since its inception, pointing out that she and her husband and their two daughters have been living in a mansion that was built on the backs of slaves. In other words, a country that once used black men and women to complete free labor, now had a black First Family.
“I wake up every morning in a house that was built by slaves,” the FLOTUS said. “And I watch my daughters—two beautiful, intelligent, black young women—playing with their dogs on the White House lawn. Because of Hillary Clinton, my daughters and all of our sons and daughters now take for granted that a woman can be President of the United States.”
Some people took issue with Obama’s decision to remember a time in America’s history that many would prefer to forget. Taking it further than most was Fox News’ O’Reilly, who downplayed the condition under which the slaves were forced to work.
O’Reilly said on his program, “Slaves that worked there were well-fed and had decent lodgings provided by the government, which stopped hiring slave labor in 1802,” adding, “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?”
For those still in doubt, Obama’s statement about slaves building the White House is factually true. According to the White House Historical Association’s website, planners “turned to African-Americans — enslaved and free — to provide the bulk of labor that built the White House, the United States Capitol, and other early government buildings.”