Michelle Obama gave a speech filled with unapologetic race baiting to City College of New York graduates June 3, 2016, in New York City. In the speech—her final commencement address as first lady—she spoke about the White House and the fact that it was built by slaves.
“It’s the story that I witness every single day when I wake up in a house that was built by slaves,” she told the Class of 2016. “And I watch my daughters, two beautiful black young women, head off to school, waving goodbye to their father, the president of the United States; the son of a man from Kenya who came here to America for the same reasons as many of you: to get an education and improve his prospects in life,” the first lady stated.
The first lady also spoke about the diversity of the Class of 2016 and also launched a thinly veiled attack on presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, saying, “Some folks out there” don’t value the diversity that City College exemplifies. “Here in America, we don’t give in to our fears. We don’t build up walls to keep people out because we know that our greatness has always depended on contributions from people who were born elsewhere but sought out this country,” she stated as a direct slight to a certain person running for president.
In addition to giving the speech, Obama was presented with an honorary doctorate of humane letters by James Milliken, the chancellor of the City University of New York.
The speech praised by the left was technically correct, but the First Lady left out a few valuable pieces of information.
The White House was not built solely — or even primarily — by slaves. In addition to the slaves, the labor force consisted of local (from Maryland and Virginia) white laborers and artisans and a number of immigrants from Ireland, Scotland, and other European nations.
The government paid the slaves who worked on the White House. While many of the surviving records only indicate payments made to their masters, at least one slave — Philip Reid — was paid directly, a sum of $1.25 per day ($31 per day in 2016 dollars).