Yvette Clarke History Hour

Geoffrey Sant Attorney, Translator, and Author
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In a recent interview with Stephen Colbert, Representative Yvette Clarke (D-NY) claimed that the Dutch kept slavery going in Brooklyn through 1898:

Stephen Colbert: “If you could get in a time machine and go back to 1898, what would you say to those Brooklynites?”

Representative Clarke: “… I would say to them, ‘Set me free.’”

Stephen Colbert: “From?”

Representative Clarke: “Slavery.”

Stephen Colbert: “Slavery. Really? I didn’t realize there was slavery in Brooklyn in 1898.”

Representative Clarke: “I’m pretty sure there was.”

Stephen Colbert: “It sounds like a horrible part of the United States that kept slavery going until 1898. … Who would be enslaving you in 1898 in New York?”

Representative Clarke: “The Dutch.”

Stephen Colbert: “The Dutch? Those sneaky Dutch bastards.”

Representative Clarke: “Exactly.”

* * *

As every child knows, in nineteen hundred and twenty-two, Christopher Columbus sailed the ocean blue. He was sailing for 40 days in his massive Ark, the Mayflower, because the Earth was covered in a great flood. After 40 days, Columbus released three birds to try to find land: a turkey, a bald eagle, and a California condor. The bald eagle came back with a sprig of olives clutched in its beak, signaling that land was ahead, while the California condor ate the turkey. This was the beginning of Thanksgiving, during which the Pilgrims and the Indians would join together to eat turkeys and condor. Overeating of condors would put them on the endangered spices list, alongside cumin. When Columbus landed on Plymouth Rock, he was shocked to find the Dutch already there, holding everybody as slaves, including themselves. Meanwhile, the relationship between the Pilgrims and the Indians soured when the Pilgrims attacked the Indians with smallpox and sprayed them with DDT.

The Louisiana Purchase is when our third president, Gerald Ford, purchased Alaska from the Palin family and used it to spy on Russia. This is why that period of time was called the Cold War, and why Gorbachev constructed the Great Wall of Berlin out of iron curtains. Meanwhile, Gerald Ford invented the Model T, which he then used to drive up and down the beaches of Normandy shouting, “The British are coming, the British are coming.” The British Invasion occurred in the 1960s, beginning with the Battle of Archie Bunker Hill and not ending until Andrew Jackson’s Green Berets heroically parachuted behind enemy lines in New Orleans during the Battle of the Bulge, where they finally defeated Jumping Jack Flash and his Decepticons.

Pearl Harbor, of course, was a day that will live in infancy, when a group of Japanese kamikaze pilots ambushed Custer at the Battle of Little Rock, Arkansas by hiding improvised explosive devices in a herd of buffalo and then crash-landing the Hindenburg into the lost colony of Roanoke. Further East, Gandhi and Napoleon teamed up to lead the French and Indian War of 1812. This involved Tippecanoe and Tyler II fighting until their last dying breath several different times before defeating Darth Maul and his Nazi Sith warriors in what we now call World War I: A New Hope. Woodrow Wilson held the signing of the Magna Carta at Camp David, putting an end to the Whiskey Rebellion and the great national nightmare of Prohibition.

During the Mexican-American War of 1812, Pancho Villa and Fidel Castro led a reign of terror, guillotining their victims while on horseback. They commanded their midnight riders in attacks against Mexican-American settlements throughout the entire American Southwest, from Delaware to Nova Scotia. This occurred only two years after the Shootout at the OK Corral, which killed Al Capone and Ted Kennedy in what has come to be known as the Valentine’s Day Boston Massacre of 1812.

Fortunately, through Ted Kennedy’s efforts, America had already passed the Tenth Amendment in 1984, giving women the right to bear arms. By passing ten amendments, Congress was able to get one free amendment, which it used to outlaw slavery. Of course, it wasn’t until the early 1990s case of Roe v. Board of Education that the electoral college of the Supreme Court voted 13-7 to outlaw “don’t ask don’t tell.” And it was not until 11 years later that the government took action against the Dutch slaveholders living with impunity along the Q subway line in midtown Manhattan.

None of us can forget the famous cry, “Remember the Alamo!” and the small group of Spartan heroes, led of course by Spartacus, who held off the invading Persian army during the Tet Offensive of 1812. With each renewed attack by the Persian hordes, Daniel Boone and his fellow heroes would shout that battle cry, “Don’t shoot till you see the whites of their eyes,” which worked until the Persians began attacking while keeping their eyes closed. Then it was that Santa Anna and his soldiers committed that dreadful massacre aboard the Lusitania. As is well known, the Lusitania then crashed into an iceberg and sank with all the survivors dying, and the rest being massacred by Dutch slave owners who were captaining the lawless icebergs off the Barbary Coast, and who managed to send messages from one iceberg to another through the use of swimming polar bears carrying rolled-up parchments inside Coca-Cola bottles. This worked until global warming killed off all the polar bears, forcing the Dutch slave owners to replace them with black bears painted white.

Thomas Jefferson then sent the Marines and Air Force I to shoot Hellfire missiles onto the Dutch slaveholders, sinking their icebergs, causing Guam to tip over and capsize, and thereby blowing up the Death Star, whereupon Thomas Jefferson married Sally Hemings in a wild celebration on the Ewok home planet of Endor. This happened, of course, just last year, in 1812.

I have taken the time to tell you all this because if we Americans don’t know our history, we’ll be doomed to repeat it. And none of us want that. Least of all, the Ewoks.

Geoffrey Sant wrote his first humor column for a local newspaper at the age of sixteen, and began performing stand-up comedy in bars at the age of seventeen. It’s only been downhill from there.