Black History Month was made for people like Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN).
However, it increasingly looks as though the tea party heroine not only never paid attention to African-American history but seeks to re-write it in her own image.
“Other than Native Americans who were here, all of us have the same story,” Bachmann told the National Press Club at a “Tea Party Express Forum” Tuesday.
She went on to insist that all Americans are descendants of “a risk-taker from their home country, doesn’t matter what the country is, but they took a risk, and they came here.”
“And they knew when they came here they weren’t coming for a welfare state,” Bachmann continued. “They were coming here for the thrill of writing their own ticket. Who did we attract? People that wanted a better life and were willing to do what it took to get it.”
Bachmann’s remarks completely ignored the fact that the ancestors of today’s African-Americans were brought to the United States involuntarily as slaves. One of the framers, Thomas Jefferson, famously fathered children with Sally Hemmings, one of his slaves.
Her whitewash of US history is her second in as many months, following her statement in Iowa that race was not a factor in the creation of the US government.
The term “slave” appeared in the original draft of the US Constitution; the final version, however, the “Three-Fifths Compromise” stated that the population of slaves within states would be considered three-fifths of citizens for purposes of determining taxation and representation in Congress.
None of the Founding Fathers lived to see African-American slaves attain their freedom and rights of US citizenship or participated in the full abolition of slavery as an economic institution within the borders of the United States.
Bachmann has earned something of a cult following with her vicious attacks and occasionally conspiratorial claims about the Obama administration. She’s also no stranger to factual inaccuracies. Bill Adair, editor of the Pulitzer Prize-winning PolitiFact, said her claims tend to be false more often than just about any other politician.
This video is from C-SPAN, broadcast Feb. 8, 2011, as snipped by Mediaite.
With reporting by Sahil Kapur.