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VIDEO: Brooklyn Rep. Gets Slavery History Wrong on Colbert

New York state abolished slavery in 1827, but Yvette Clarke said the Dutch enslaved Brooklynites in 1898

Thursday, Sep 6, 2012  |  Updated 11:36 AM EDT
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BK Rep. Gets Slavery History Wrong on Colbert

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Rep. Yvette Clarke's remarks on New York history took some ribbing from Stephen Colbert.

The impish TV host mentioned how some refer to Brooklyn's decision to become part of New York City as "The Great Mistake of 1898" and asked Clarke what she would say to those Brooklynites if she could go back in time.

Her reply: "Set me free."

The incredulous Colbert asked from what. The Brooklyn Democrat said: "slavery."

Colbert said he didn't realize Brooklyn had slavery then. Clarke said she was "pretty sure there was."

New York state abolished slavery in 1827.

Asked who'd be enslaving her in 1898, Clarke said "the Dutch."

Wrong. The Dutch ceded control of New Amsterdam to the English in the late 1600s.

Clarke's spokeswoman, Kristia Beaubrun, told the Daily News it was "supposed to be humorous."

Earlier, Colbert goaded Clarke to rap. She demurred, then sportingly tried to wing a few words.

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