Kirsters Baish’s Opinion | NBC News published an article on Monday in which Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnnell’s slave ancestors were criticized.
According to PJ Media, the article “concludes that two of his great-great-grandfathers, James McConnell and Richard Daley, owned at least 14 slaves in total in Alabama, according to the 1850 and 1860 censuses. It also implies that Sen. McConnell’s background of slave ancestors could have influenced his policymaking, examining his history of statements about civil rights public figures and with regard to various civil rights legislation.”
McConnell was asked during a press conference if he knew that two of his great-great-grandfathers had been slave owners, and if this information would push him away from his prior position on reparations.
The Republican lawmaker responded, “I find myself once again in the same position as President Obama. We both oppose reparations and we both are the descendants of slave owners.”
“In 2007, William Reitwiesner, an amateur genealogical researcher, published a history of former President Obama’s white mother’s family. It showed that Obama’s great-great-great-great-great-grandmother, Mary Duvall, owned a pair of slaves, and Obama’s great-great-great-great-grandfather, George Washington Overall, owned two slaves in Kentucky, according to the 1850 census record,” according to PJ Media. “Using census information and documents from the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives, publications like The Baltimore Sun retraced and confirmed President Obama’s ancestry to those slave owners. At the time, an Obama spokesman did not dispute the information and stated that the then senator’s ancestors ‘are representative of America.’”
Ancestry.com explains that former President Barack Obama’s mother also descended “from a slave named John Punch as well, a man who was deemed the first African to be declared ‘enslaved for life’ in early Colonial Virginia,” according to PJ Media.
Via PJ Media:
Democratic presidential candidate and current Senator Kamala Harris is also a contender. Her father Donald Harris once wrote an essay titled “Reflections of a Jamaican Father.”
He states, “My roots go back, within my lifetime, to my paternal grandmother Miss Chrishy [née Christiana Brown, descendant of Hamilton Brown who is on record as plantation and slave owner and founder of Brown’s Town] and to my maternal grandmother Miss Iris [née Iris Finegan, farmer and educator, from Aenon Town and Inverness, ancestry unknown to me].”
Hamilton Brown, who was alive from 1776 to 1843, was an Irish man who immigrated to Jamaica and became a wealthy sugar plantation owner and founder of Brown’s Town.
According to the National Archives in London, Hamilton Brown swore to holding at least around 80 slaves.
In light of their backgrounds, former President Obama opposed reparations to the descendants of slaves in 2008, while Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris has embraced reparations.