Bill O'Reilly added his expert opinion to the growing cavalcade of old white men who are positive that slavery wasn't all that bad for black people and that we should really give slaveowners something of a retroactive break.
On tonight's episode of The O'Reilly Factor, the political pundit took issue with Michelle Obama's speech last night at the Democratic National Convention in which she reminded the audience that slaves built the White House.
While Fox Radio host John Gibson critiqued the First Lady for choosing not to draw attention to the free, white laborers who also participated in the White House's construction, O'Reilly took issue with the ways in which the enslaved might have been taken care of.
"Records show about 400 payments made to slave masters between 1795 and 1801. Slaves that worked there were well fed and had decent lodgings provided by the government, which stopped hiring slave labor in 1802," O'Reilly said. "However, the feds did not forbid subcontractors from using slave labor."
O'Reilly, like his colleague, once again fails to understand the very basic fact that slavery, a system which, by definition, allows people to treat other people as sub-human property, was in no way a good thing. What's more, his insinuation that slaves were being taken care of by the government is a none too subtle reference to the untrue idea that people of color account for the largest number of people on government welfare (that'd be white folks.)
Racism, folks. It's good for ratings.