A house built by slaves?

This is a trivial thing, but I do get tired of the way people feel free to distort and rewrite history to fit their particular political narrative. Michelle Obama tells graduates she “wakes up in a house built by slaves.” That’s BS. In fact the building we now call the White House was built by skilled Scottish stonemasons, burned down in 1814 and rebuilt and remodeled repeatedly over the next 150 years, always by paid workmen. Here’s a short history lesson for anyone interested in the actual facts.

None of this is secret or even arcane information. There’s certainly some poor wretch someplace in the bowels of the federal gov’t who is familiar with the history of the Executive Mansion. I assume that FLOTUS has a highly-paid cortege of speechwriters to prep her public remarks, and they are in turn backed by competent researchers and fact-checkers.  Apparently she and they are all indifferent to historical reality and cynically confident that no one in her audience (either the college grads she’s addressing or the reporters who are listening in) knows or cares more than she does.

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