Fact Check

Sarah Palin on Slavery

A quote purportedly from Sarah Palin saying that slavery wasn't the fault of the United States is fake.

Published May 31, 2016

Image Via AP
Sarah Palin said that America was not to blame for slavery, and that "the negroes" liked it.

On 28 May 2016, the web site Corrupted Potato published an article reporting that former Alaska governor Sarah Palin said that the United States' was not responsible for slavery, and that she claimed "the negroes" liked it:

“I’m telling you, I’ve been saying it for years, but nobody’s listening – slavery wasn’t forced onto African-Americans, they accepted it willingly,” she said. “But, all of a sudden, they realized that it represented a very powerful bargaining chip that could help them milk more money out of the national budget. And now they’re even complaining white people are racist. That is just horrendous.

"I’m going to say it once again loudly and clearly: Negroes loved being slaves and they were doing just fine under our rules. So, you see, you can’t really blame us for any of it, not legitimately ... If they liked it and enjoyed it, how can you pin that on white people?” Palin asked. “Are the Chinese blaming their leaders for being communist? No, of course not – they’re working their butts off and are prospering because they’re keeping it real. That’s what we need to start doing, because we’re not at fault for slavery. Negroes loved being slaves because of the simple fact that they can’t tackle the world around them on their own. They need someone to govern them, to show them how to organize, how to live as a community, in a civilized manner. They pretty much need us more than we need them.”

That article cited a 31 March 2016 article on the primarily-satirical web site Newslo as a source, but the rehashed claim wasn't an instance of a blog being taken in unwittingly by a fake news story. Corrupted Potato clearly stated on its own disclaimer page that it deliberately publishes fake news:

Corrupted Potato is a News Satire platform on the web. Readers come to us for a unique brand of entertainment and information that is enhanced by features like our fact-button, which allows readers to find what is fact and what is satire.

Corrupted Potato brings you completely factual stories that are so ridiculous, they don’t need our trademark touch.

Much like Newslo, Religionlo, and Politicalo (a trio of related fake news sites), Corrupted Potato appears to specialize in a hybrid news/satire style of content. Newslo frequently makes Sarah Palin (or Bristol Palin) the target of race-based satire: previous pieces from that site have suggested the elder Palin lamented the end of slavery as a cause for President Obama's election and separately suggested it be reinstated on a voluntary basis. A different satirical article said that Bristol Palin said black actors don't get nominated for Oscars because they are difficult to distinguish from one another.

Kim LaCapria is a former writer for Snopes.

Article Tags