McConnell cites Obama in reparations debate: ‘We both are the descendants , Senate Majority Leader Mitch
McConnell responded Tuesday to reports that his 19th-century ancestors owned slavesBy pointing out that the same was true of former President Barack Obama ,
And that they were in agreement on the issue of slavery reparations.“You know, I find myself in the same position as President Obama,” McConnell, R-Ky., told reporters on Capitol Hill when asked ,
Whether his ancestry influenced his opposition to reparations for African-Americans. “We both oppose reparations, and we both are the descendants of slave owners.”
James McConnell and Richard Daley, between them owned at least 14 slaves in Alabama before the Civil War. The records were traced using Limestone County “slave schedules” in the 1850 and 1860 censuses,
On the eve of a June hearing in the U.S. House of Representatives on whether the U.S. government should pay reparations to the descendants of slaves, McConnell threw cold water on the idea.
Obama has long maintained that reparations are the wrong approach for trying to level the economic playing field for African-Americans.
In his 1995 autobiography, “Dreams From My Father,” Obama, whose mother was white, wrote of family lore that said he was related to Confederate President Jefferson Davis.
Amateur genealogist William Reitwiesner published a history of Obama’s mother’s family that revealed that his great-great-great-great-grandfather George Washington ,
Overall owned two slaves in Kentucky. His great-great-great-great-grandmother also owned two slaves in the state, according to census records.
The debate over whether former slaves or their descendants should receive compensatory payments from the U.S. government has been around since 1865, when Union Gen. William . T. Sherman made his famous promise of “40 acres and a mule” to freed slaves.Sherman’s order was reversed by President Andrew Johnson ,