Imagine Beavis or Butthead in Congress. Wait, you don’t have to imagine it at all. We have several, even many, who could top the MTV brainiacs when it comes to ignorance.
One such politician represents Brooklyn, New York. She has been reelected three times. And her district gave 90% of its votes to Barack Obama in 2008.
Does this bit of news prove that there should be a test for all who seek public office? Maybe something like the SAT, administered by the Educational Testing Service in Princeton? Perhaps with an emphasis on American history, the basics of American government, and current world events, just for starters? There would be no “failing” score. Buffoons could still run for office with a score of zero. But their scores would be revealed to the voting public. Just a thought.
Another thought: what if this congressperson mentioned below happened to be a Republican? What kind of coverage do you think this story would get?
From the New York Daily News
Rep. Yvette Clarke of Brooklyn tells Stephen Colbert the Dutch enslaved blacks in Brooklyn in 1898
see the whole horrifying interview here.
“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.
Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-Brooklyn) botched both American and Kings County history during an appearance on “The Colbert Report” Tuesday night.
The pol wrongly said that slavery in the United States existed under the Dutch as late as 1898 in Brooklyn.
“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.
“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.”
The Dutch left Brooklyn in the 1600s and slavery was abolished in New York State in 1827.