After some confusion about the specifics of time travel, U.S. Representative Yvette Clarke told Stephen Colbert last night that if she could go back to her Brooklyn district in 1898, she would tell those Brooklynites, “Set me free!” When Colbert asked innocently, “From?” Clarke said, “Slavery,” perhaps confusing her major U.S. history dates. “Slavery. Really? I didn’t realize there was slavery in Brooklyn in 1898,” Colbert replied, giving her a chance. But nope: “I’m pretty sure there was.” (There wasn’t.)
The host pressed forward, hinting, “It sounds like a horrible part of the United States that kept slavery going until 1898,” and asked, “Who would be enslaving you in 1898 in New York?” She said the Dutch, to which Colbert quipped, as he does, “Those sneaky Dutch bastards.”
“Exactly,” said Clarke. Exactly.
Update: “It’s a comedy show — it’s meant to be light and meant to be funny,” a spokesperson for Rep. Clarke told Daily Intel this afternoon. “Unfortunately, it was a joke that some people understood and some people didn’t understand. That’s pretty much it. It’s up to everyone’s own interpretation.” Interpret away!