Thanks For Building the Capitol, Slaves!

  chocolate city

DC: Actually full of black people.Did you think DC is called the “Chocolate City” because of how pretty much every family values politician/pederast coaxes his interns under his desk with melted Snickers? Well, that is one reason! Another, however, is the black people. There are literally hundreds of black people in our nation’s capital at any one time, sometimes within mere feet of the whitest men in the America, Jake Tapper and George Will and Alan Keyes.

And yet so many people in DC media are like, “Oh ha! Black people stories? No thanks. Let’s gangbang the morning with pics of Gunnysack Palin doing shooters at Benihana. See you at the press dinner.” Hey! Let’s stop doing that! Sometimes, right here on your Wonkette, let’s talk about black people who are shamelessly ruining American politics just as brazenly as their white counterparts. We can even talk about black people who are being shamelessly ruined by American politics, which happens less than Al Sharpton will admit but more than Rush Limbaugh will tell you.

To begin, here’s a story I bet you haven’t heard, about a time a couple weeks ago that all your favorite congressional weirdos got together for this INSANE thing that should definitely not have happened in the way it did:

The backstory for this incident is slavery, which we shouldn’t get into very deeply because it takes from the laffs. But trust: slavery was fucked! So fucked, in fact, that, in the year 2000, some congresspeople whose decency hadn’t yet wholly rotted were like, “Hey, let’s maybe do something to credit the black people our early iterations ordered to build the Capitol, under punishment of death.” Everyone agreed this was a good idea, because politicians are constantly looking for ways to sate minorities enough to not have their tires slashed, which is what should happen, constantly.

Anyway, a thing with the menacing name The Slave Labor Task Force was convened, and 10 years later, this collective had an idea. No, not reparations — what are you, a militant Muslin? — something much better: plaques! TWO plaques.

Yes, in May of 2010, an entire decade after it decided to do something to honor the slaves who built the Capitol Building, The Slave Labor Task Force had a ceremony to unveil a couple of bronze plaques, for the walls, for all the obese tourists to look at and say through their Blow Pop gum, “Oh! Slavery! It certainly was fucked, BUT THESE PLAQUES ARE SO BEAUTIFUL! Look at these plaques, kids!” But by then the kids are already thinking about Justin Bieber’s abs or whatever and so to hell with your plaques, stupid parents. Why didn’t we go to San Diego?

Congressman John Lewis from Georgia was at the ceremony, which was kind of sad because he used to hang with Martin Luther King Jr. until civilian complacency and government bureaucracy forced him to be all, “Check ‘em out — plaques!” John Boehner was also there, orange and grumbling and sort of unamused to the point that you could almost see the “Rather Be Fishin’” sign hanging on his brain.

Maryland doofus Michael Steele got the day off from his normal job — making balloon animals at the Romano’s Macaroni Grill in Chevy Chase — to sit in the second row at this laughable sham. He and JC Watts giggled when Harry Reid bragged during his speech about how he shared a last name with a very famous slave named Philip Reid, whose smarts you should read about here. It was weird how everyone thought that was funny, because what Reid was basically saying was, “My ancestors very well may have owned such a smart black man and forced him to do a whole lot of shit he didn’t want to do.” Funny stuff.

Plaques of Freedom.
All the rest of the speeches were also grindingly terrible, as was the coffee, but nothing compared to when Blanche Lincoln got up and described her fantasy of what the slaves who built the Capitol must have been thinking while toiling in rock quarries: “Do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with our God.”

YES, Blanche! The slaves weren’t thinking anything like, “I wish these evil bastards would let me go find my wife and daughter, who they sold away to be raped, instead of beating me up and forcing me to build their hollow towers of freedom.” That would’ve been unpatriotic, so they were obviously thinking about loving the Arkansas Jeebus.

The moral of this story is that Barack Obama’s presidency has answered all of Black America’s dreams and that everything is fine. The plaques are very, very shiny.

Cord Jefferson covers Washington for quality publications including The Root, which recently posted his interview with Alvin Greene.

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About the author

Originally from Tucson, Arizona, Cord Jefferson now lives in Washington where he reports for The Root, Slate and Wonkette. He has only one kidney after donating the second to his once-ill father.

View all articles by Cord Jefferson

Hola wonkerados.

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0 comments

  1. ttommyunger

    Thank fucking God! America is so sweeeeet!!!! No hypocrisy here, folks, just move along.

  2. Manos: Hands of Fate

    Ok, we’ve got plagues — TWO of them actually — so the NAACP, EEOC, SCLC, etc. can all go home and worry about other things now.

  3. you didn't ask, but

    So this is a cya “we did something but not enough for Glenn Beck to latch on to” event. Imagine if they had come up with something more concrete!

    I feel sorry for John Lewis (Didn’t the teabaggers spit on him? This is all he can get after that shit?). Blanche Lincoln doesn’t live up to her last name, and Harry Reid, *awkward*, dude. (Better than nothing? Depends on if they put the plaques in the kitchen, the bathroom or the back door.)

    Next year, Beck will moan about how the straight white man has also been a slave — to the ideas of liberals or some such shit. He’s trying to get traction on appropriating the King legacy so I wouldn’t shit past this asshole.

  4. JMP

    We know what the slaves who built that Capitol were all thinking; “Man, I hope they’ll put up a plaque acknowledging us in about two hundred years; that’ll totally make up for this whole being treated as property thing.”

  5. x111e7thst

    It was probably the Catholic Jeebus that the slaves turned to in their hearts and minds as they worked to build the Capitol. The Catholic Church was a big supporter of the Confederacy (the official newspaper of the Vatican editorialized on behalf of the South during the war, and Pope Pius IX sent a hand-woven Crown of Thorns to Jefferson Davis).

  6. The Silver Fox

    The main room in the new Capitol Visitors Center is called Emancipation Hall – so you’re welcome for that too black people.

    Obviously this was too liberal, and possibly gay, for the jowly, right-wing Christian Congresspeople, so they threw a fit until “In God We Trust” was engraved somewhere in that place.

    In conclusion. Congress is the best.

  7. HedonismBot

    Blanche Lincoln sort of looks like a man – Thomas Jefferson, to be precise – what with her strong chin, her short, curly mannish hair and her ruffled hair. I know that is a low blow, but it’s hard to say anything nice about that opportunistic, phony, DINO.

  8. actor212

    This committee was SO diligent in its work, they carefully chiseled each plaque out of stone, which is why it took so long.

    Wait. They’re cast metal?

    Oh. Well. Um…

    I got it! They MINED the ore, smelted it…and you know what they say, he who smelt it dealt it, so they were bound by unwritten law….enslaved, if you will…to complete the plaques.

    And THAT’S why it took ten years. And also why darkies were born.

  9. Katydid

    I’d have hated to be the aide who had to write the plaque’s text.

    For some reason I can’t reply to you didn’t ask, but please don’t get me started on Beck and the MLK day rally, because I’ll have a stroke.

    For the best takedown of Beck on that see Stephen Colbert’s Yahweh or No Way (The Beck bit comes at 2:30. Be sure to watch the second video with Father Guido Sarducci, who also talks about Beck. They’re hilarious, and really shoot a hole in Beck’s bullshit.)

    Watch Beck claim he didn’t know it was MLK day.

  10. Roach

    TASF aka Tupac Amaru Shakur Foudation had an entire bronze STATUE erected in 2005; it stands a whole 7ft tall.

    Damn it feels good to be a gangsta.

  11. MarieDeGournay

    As the believer in the human family, I will join with any and all black men and women to slash senators’ tires. Not out of petty revenge, but simply because they deserve to be driven mad by a thousand little annoyances.

  12. HedonismBot

    [re=610788]HedonismBot[/re]: ruffled shirts, should be. Ah, who cares. I still can’t believe she won her stupid primary. I will never forgive any Democratic senatrolls for their efforts to kill/water down Obamacare.

  13. Scaggsville guy

    [re=610788]HedonismBot[/re]: “Blanche Lincoln sort of looks like a man”

    Sort of? She looks like Gary Cooper if he put on earrings and a little lipstick.

  14. JMP

    [re=610792]Katydid[/re]: It’s the “didn’t”; for some reason that probably has to do with some HTML type stuff it’s impossible to reply to anyone with a ‘ in their username; some other punctuation too.

  15. SayItWithWookies

    [re=610781]x111e7thst[/re]: That has to be some sort of sarcasm on behalf of the Vatican — like the equivalent of the smallest violin in the world, etc. “Yeah, I’m hand-weaving your crown of thorns right now.” Of course, this is the Vatican we’re talking about, so probably not. And Pius IX was the first pope to officially be infallible, so definitely not. Oh, and note that Pius only became infallibile five years after his favorite side lost the Civil War.

  16. Pandy

    [re=610836]SayItWithWookies[/re]: What’s funny about that is the Catholic Church today is very multicultural.

  17. Snarkalicious

    [re=610775]you didn’t ask, but[/re]: They won’t go in any of those places. Strom Thurmond is dead. Jeff Sessions, on the other hand, will probably demand they be used to demarcate broken water fountains.

  18. PancakeBreakfast

    Slave labor built Washington? Unimpossible! D.C. is the most Northern of all Northern cities. What’s that? It’s south of the Mason Dixon? The site was chosen because it was in the South? Slavery and the slave trade were legal there? And it’s still basically a segregated city? Bor-ring. Why doesn’t Wonkette give us more of what the other local media gives us, like Washingtonian’s “Best of” issues that really reflect the interests of the city’s majority population? Shame on you, Wonkette!

  19. nappyduggs

    [re=610804]Scaggsville guy[/re]:
    {hysterical silent laughter, culminating in a wet choking gasp} Ahhhhh. Thanks.

    Oh, and this is a perfect example of why America is such a silly. Instead of spending munnies on these damn plaques, all they had to do was take the cheddar, give it to that one guy who sold the bone density machines in that Will Smith movie- you know, the one who went on to become a wealthy millionaire bidnessman after he moved out of the bathroom at the bus station- and he would have invested it in some default mortgage swaps or whatever and made millions to pay for the reparations that black folks so desperately need to buy more gold chains that say “Big Ass Chain” on them.

    But the plaques were probably donated, so never damn mind.

  20. mumblyjoe

    Everyone agreed this was a good idea, because politicians are constantly looking for ways to sate minorities enough to not have their tires slashed, which is what should happen, constantly.

    Well, not everyone.

    So, guys, I’m just saying, if you want to slash someone’s tires, you know who to go for, first.

  21. DustBowlBlues

    [re=610912]BaconTime[/re]: Me, too. I started to demand who the fuck this Cord Jefferson is and whether Ken keeps throwing in all these new names to confuse us olds and drive us away from the wonket. But this is funny shit.

  22. libwakman

    Damned shame Samuel L. Jackson was not yet born in a ramshackle Tobacco Road hut with a leaky roof and a rusty pot to piss and defecate in cause’ he is a Bad Black Man that would have been strappin’ an AK-47 into his brown paper lunch bag next to his chittlin on rye with no mustard breadless sandwich. Rat-A-Tat-Tat you honky originators of the Constitution that discounted me and my peoples existence as if we were lower than the ground that we were forced by whip and chain to erect the Massa’s Mansion on. If you want to clear a room and kill every Muthafuckan phony all mens be created equalin the room, pick an Ak-47 every time. Shit will work for the Viet-Fuckin’-Congolese years from now the old Black Voodoo Witch that rolls the bones tells me when I pay her with a chicken I stole from the Massa’s chicken coop when he was gettin sexytime busy with my sister Cunta-Cindy. And thats right my bitches not a white mans comma to be fazound.
    Yes..this is the plaque that was not approved for display.

  23. fat ghost

    Oh my God, Cord! There you are! Welcome aboard! I have missed your fine writing since the Mollygood et al. days. Good to have you here.

  24. Real DC Native

    Maryland doofus Michael Steele got the day off from his normal job — making balloon animals at the Romano’s Macaroni Grill in Chevy Chase

    They let colored people work in a restaurant dining room in Chevy Chase? Things have changed!

  25. zhubajie

    “slavery was fucked!”

    Well, slaves were fucked, and not just Sally Hemmings, either. I’m sure that free sex was one of the main reasons for slavery.

  26. zhubajie

    “Next year, Beck will moan about how the straight white man has also been a slave….”

    To Indians, usually. Occasionally White children would be kidnapped, sold as octoroons.

  27. zhubajie

    [re=610781]x111e7thst[/re]: Don’t let the Prots off easy. Romans barely existed when the Capitol was built. Brazil was the biggest Catholic slave country.

  28. Beanball

    Every day I discover another hole in my knowledge of American history; I didn’t have a clue that slaves built the Capitol.

    You know the saying about how every great fortune has its origin in a great crime? Well, this seems to be a metaphor for the building of the nation’s capitol, also.

    Henceforth, every time I see The Shining Beacon on the Hill, I will also be seeing a Monument to Ironic Hypocrisy.

    Happy Birthday, US of America.

  29. SouthernBeale

    Bet there are some tea baggers whose brains are all like “WHAT? MY TAX DOLLARS FOR PLAQUES?!”