Rep. Yvette Clark to Stephen Colbert: Brooklyn had slavery until 1898
Slavery existed in New York until at least 1898 -- according to Brooklyn Rep. Yvette Clarke, who delivered that historically inaccurate line on "The Colbert Report."
Democrat Clarke, who represents neighborhoods such as Brownsville, Flatbush and Park Slope, was a guest on the show Tuesday night. During her interview, Colbert posed this question to her: "If you could get in a time machine and go back to 1898, what would you say to those Brooklynites?"
"I would say to them, 'Set me free,' " Clarke said.
Colbert asked from what she wanted to be freed, and Clarke replied: "Slavery."
"Slavery. Really? I didn't realize there was slavery in Brooklyn in 1898," Colbert countered.
"I'm pretty sure there was," Clarke continued, later adding that it was the Dutch keeping the slaves.
In fact, the Dutch left New York in the 1600s, and slavery was abolished in the state in 1827.
Clarke's spokesperson said the representative was simply joking with Colbert.
"It's a comedy show -- it's meant to be light and meant to be funny," the spokesperson told Daily Intel yesterday. "Unfortunately, it was a joke that some people understood and some people didn't understand." Clarke's office didn't return requests for comment.