Fact Check

Michele Bachmann: 'White People Suffered More Under Obama Than Blacks During Slavery'

A fake news site prompted rumors Michele Bachmann said that the Obama administration was worse for white people than slavery was for black people.

Published Aug 24, 2016

Michele Bachmann said that white people suffered more under the Obama administration than black people did during slavery.

On 23 August 2016, the Newslo web site reported that former Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann had said white people suffered more under the Obama administration than black people did under slavery:

On Sunday, ex-Rep. Michelle Bachmann spoke with Breitbart News about the protests outside of a Donald Trump campaign stop in Minneapolis, claiming that the protesters acted violently toward Trump supporters. Bachmann argued that President Obama has “sanctioned” violence, as long it protects the “people favorable to the Obama position, politically.” She insisted that the president is sending “a signal to Donald Trump supporters: Don’t attend Donald Trump events because you could be physically assaulted.” She also linked the Obama administration’s “lawlessness” to the incident in Minneapolis, claiming that Obama has effectively condoned violence against conservatives and white people, leaving “normal” people helpless in the face of anarchy.

“And these days it has become so obvious that I’m honestly surprised we’re not having riots throughout the country,” she said. “When did this become a nation of criminals? I didn’t get that memo. And if you look at it, if you just take a look at how many white people and conservative people have suffered because of violence in the past 8 years alone, it will become very clear that this is something only a highly powerful apparatus is capable of organizing. You know, the kind of apparatus we like to call the Obama administration. I’m not sure what other Americans are thinking, but as for me, I feel like the last 8 years were the absolute worst time to be white in America.

The ex-Rep. then argued that “not even slaves” suffered as much as white people are being targeted nowadays. “It’s true, once it was also terribly inconvenient to be black in this country. And yes, African-Americans have suffered greatly at the hand of white people, I’m not going to try to deny that. But one thing must be very clear – we’re supposed to be all evolved right now, we’re supposed to have learned from our mistakes. That means that there should be no more racial tensions in America at all. And yet, what is our president doing? He’s protecting those who want to hurt white people, as you’ve seen in Minneapolis.”

Like all articles published by Newslo (and its companion sites Religionlo and Politicalo), the piece employed a fact-based introduction before introducing counterfactual information. It is true Bachmann spoke to the outlet Breitbart on 21 August 2016, an interview from which much of the first paragraph's quoted material was drawn. And like all articles on those three fake news sites, it included a "show facts" or "hide facts" button (all items displayed by default in "hide facts" mode, obfuscating the untruthful aspects):

newslo satire

Although Bachmann was somewhat accurately quoted in the first paragraph of the piece, subsequent purported comparisons between the Obama administration and years during which slavery was legal were embellishments typical of Newslo and its sister sites. Bachmann did not claim "'not even slaves' suffered as much as [the] white people [who] are being targeted nowadays'" amidst racial unrest, nor did she describe slavery as "terribly inconvenient" for black people.

Newslo and related sites typically publish articles comprised of a paragraph of fairly straightforward news and a balance of related, somewhat subtle false information. Prior items from those outlets included claims Chris Christie stated a female version of Viagra would lead to increased "lesbianism" and voted down a gender pay parity bill for Bible-based reasons, an Alabama politician suggested saliva-based "hunger tests" for food stamp recipients, Ted Cruz surmised the death of Antonin Scalia was suspiciously timed, Pat Robertson claimed David Bowie was still alive after his death, and Mike Pence opined that if abortion was allowed in instances of rape that women would attempt to "get raped" in order to obtain an abortion.

Kim LaCapria is a former writer for Snopes.