Virginia Senator Tim Kaine isn’t a particularly stupid man. Wrong, perhaps, and often so - but not stupid.
But he must really think you are.
Kaine, a Democrat, said during a speech on the U.S. Senate floor Tuesday that the U.S. “created” slavery.
“The United States didn’t inherit slavery from anybody. We created it,” Kaine claimed, amid a larger rant on the racial inequalities he purports exist in modern-day society.
Which, frankly, is so ridiculously untrue, so embarrassingly ignorant, so shockingly stupid a statement, it almost boggles the mind that anyone, let alone one of the highest elected leaders in the entire 320-million-person nation, would let it emerge from their pie-hole.
While it’s not exactly deserving of an award, there are just a few ancient civilizations that might take issue with Kaine crediting the U.S. for “creating” slavery, a practice dating back to the earliest days in human history. Slaves were used in the building of the Egyptian pyramids, the Roman Coliseum, the Greek Parthenon, and the Great Wall of China, just to name a few. Slavery was common in many indigenous South American cultures including the Mayans and the Aztecs. The Dutch slave trade was particularly brutal.
But let’s say Kaine is aware of all that. Let’s assume, just for the sake of argument, that he’s talking strictly about the United States’ role in slavery, and is suggesting that the American slave trade wasn’t established until after the United States became its own independent nation.
He’d be wrong there, too.
Great Britain, the country from which the U.S. declared its independence in 1776 (in case Kaine missed that day in second-grade history, as well) transported around 3 million slaves to the British colonies in the Caribbean, North and South America between 1640 and 1807. Even before they’d set up colonies throughout the world, slavery was common in Great Britain, who benefited from an African-based slave trade established largely by Admiral Sir John Hawkins in the mid-1500s.
And, lest one think the mean white men were the only ones buying and selling humans as property, the Native American tribes who lived here before Europeans showed up? Yep, they had slavery, too.
Of course, basic facts and simple history don't matter much when one is attempting to pander to a perpetually victimized populace to score points in Identity Politics Bingo. But thankfully, they're still the facts - and Kaine knows it.
He's just betting that you don't.