Yvette Clarke struggles with history

September 5, 2012


Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-N.Y.) -- representing the district where this blogger grew up -- appeared to be a bit confused about her own borough's history in an appearance on "The Colbert Report" Tuesday night.

Asked by Stephen Colbert what she would tell Brooklynites if she went back in time to 1898 (when Brooklyn joined New York City, a decision some Brooklynites still consider the "Great Mistake"), Clarke said she would ask to end slavery.

"I didn’t realize there was slavery in Brooklyn in 1898," Colbert deadpanned. "I’m pretty sure there was," Clarke responded. "It sounds like a horrible part of the United States that kept slavery going until 1898," Colbert joked. Asked who exactly was enslaving Brooklynites three decades after the Civil War, Clarke responded, "The Dutch." The Dutch lost control of Brooklyn in 1674.

Of course, it was Comedy Central, so Clarke can try to claim she was just joking.

Rachel Weiner covers local politics for The Washington Post.
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