Friday 30 June 2023

Report: Many politicians, including 5 presidents, found to have descended from SLAVE OWNERS

 Most U.S. politicians, including five presidents, have descended from slave owners, according to a new Reuters special report.

The report published on June 27 was penned by a team of six reporters from the news outlet. It found that incumbent President Joe Biden and four of his predecessors, alongside two Supreme Court justices, trace their roots to slave owners. Eleven governors and more than 100 members of Congress also descended from slave owners, the report said.

Aside from Biden, former Presidents Jimmy Carter, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama are direct descendants of slaveholders. Obama, the nation's first Black president, descended from slave-owning Americans through his mother, anthropologist Ann Dunham (1942-1995). Incumbent Supreme Court Justices Amy Coney Barrett and Neil Gorsuch also have direct ancestors who owned slaves.

Reuters also found that the governors of 11 states – Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia – were also descendants of slaveholders. At least 100 members of the current Congress also descended from slave owners, with these connections spanning across party lines.

Joseph Maddox, the great-great-great-grandfather of Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), was cited as one example. A February 1845 receipt from the sale of Maddox's estate named the sale of eight people he had enslaved, including five Black children. An aide to the senator said in a statement that the lawmaker "has called slavery 'the original sin of the country.'"  

Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) was also found to be connected to a slave owner. Henry Coe, the great-great-great-great-great-grandfather of the junior senator for the Prairie State, allegedly left several slaves to various family members upon his death.

"I have to acknowledge that I am also a daughter of people who enslaved other people," Duckworth told Reuters. "I think it's a disservice to our nation and our history to walk away from this."

Trump a descendant of legal immigrants, not slave owners

As the 2024 elections approach, several politicians from both the Republican and Democratic parties are striving to clinch the official nomination. On the side of the GOP, Reuters named three candidates as descendants of slave owners – former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, incumbent North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum and South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott.

The report interestingly noted that former President Donald Trump was the exception to the rule, as his ancestry wasn't traced to slave owners. "Trump's ancestors came to America after slavery was abolished," it stated.

Friedrich Trump, the former president's grandfather, landed in New York City (NYC) in 1885 – two decades after slavery was ended in the U.S. with the 1865 passage of the Thirteenth Amendment. The elder Trump, who was sickly as a child, purchased a one-way ticket to America to escape mandatory military service in his home country of Germany.

The German-speaking Friedrich juggled many occupations during his lifetime and eventually married Elisabeth, who hailed from his hometown. Friedrich and Elisabeth returned to Germany, but were forced to return to the U.S. for good when his draft dodging came to light. The Trumps settled in the Big Apple and had three children – including Donald's father Fred, the middle child.

An all-American child who spoke no German, Fred eventually rose to become one of NYC's most successful businessmen. He married Mary Anne MacLeod and had five children. The fourth child, Donald, eventually occupied 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue from 2016 to 2020 – and is now gunning for a second term at the White House.

According to Reuters, Donald Trump – a descendant of legal immigrants – signed an executive order (EO) that blocked federal funding for training that portrayed the U.S. as "fundamentally racist or sexist" back in September 2020. However, his successor Biden – a descendant of slave owners – revoked the EO upon assuming the presidency in January 2021.

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