NBC News Finds Slave Owners in McConnell’s Family History. Will They do the Same to Other Politicians?
Obama’s family owned slaves and he came out against reparations. Where’s the report on him?
NBC News released a hit piece on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (KY) on Monday about slave owners in his family history since he stands against reparations.
This is not journalism. This is not reporting. NBC News can legitimize (sort of) if the network investigates every senator’s family. Something tells me the reporters will not take that action because they will find information about President Barack Obama and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA).
NBC News published:
The two great-great-grandfathers, James McConnell and Richard Daley, owned a total of at least 14 slaves in Limestone County, Alabama — all but two of them female, according to the county “Slave Schedules” in the 1850 and 1860 censuses.
The details about McConnell’s ancestors, discovered by NBC News through a search of ancestry and census records, came in the wake of recent hearings on reparations before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties. Asked about the reparations issue, McConnell, R-Ky., said he was opposed to the idea, arguing it would be hard to figure out whom to compensate.
“I don’t think reparations for something that happened 150 years ago, when none of us currently living are responsible, is a good idea,” he said June 18, a day before the House reparations hearing. “We’ve tried to deal with our original sin of slavery by fighting a civil war, by passing landmark civil rights legislation. We’ve elected an African American president.”
EXCUSE ME? I suggest NBC News look into the family history of Obama. The Guardian reported in 2007, a genealogical researcher found slave owners on Obama’s mother’s side:
Obama’s ancestors on his white mother’s side appear to have been slave owners. William Reitwiesner, an amateur genealogical researcher, has published a history of Obama’s mother’s family and discovered that her ancestors have a distinctly shadowy past.
Reitwiesner traced Obama’s great-great-great-great-grandfather, George Washington Overall, and found that he owned two slaves in Kentucky: a 15-year-old girl and a 25-year-old man. He also found out that Obama’s great-great-great-great-great-grandmother, Mary Duvall, also owned a pair of slaves listed in an 1850 census record. They were a 60-year-old man and a 58-year-old woman. In fact, the Duvalls were a wealthy family whose members were descended from a major landowner, Maureen Duvall, whose estate owned at least 18 slaves in the 17th century.
Where is your profile on Obama’s family, NBC News? After all, Obama declared his opposition to reparations. Instead, Obama suggested we do everything we can not repeat history.
Obama told The Atlantic in 2016 that instead of reparations, he believed in his “ability, or any president or any leader’s ability, to mobilize the American people around a multiyear, multibillion-dollar investment to help every child in poverty in this country than I am in being able to mobilize the country around providing a benefit specific to African Americans as a consequence of slavery and Jim Crow.” Obama pointed out since the end of Jim Crow laws, America could make sure that people of all colors had a fair shot at everything and “that children going forward were not encumbered by some of that same bias of the past.”
Obama also stressed that America could make up for her history by making sure those children get the same shot at succeeding at an education and job interviews. He wants Americans to concentrate on the fight we could win: ending poverty, ending discrimination, and social programs to help those without the resources to succeed.
How about that, NBC News?!
Now let’s look at 2020 Democrat presidential candidate Harris. Her father Donald Harris penned an article this year about his family’s past in Jamaica (emphasis mine):
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). The Harris name comes from my paternal grandfather Joseph Alexander Harris, land-owner and agricultural ‘produce’ exporter (mostly pimento or all-spice), who died in 1939 one year after I was born and is buried in the church yard of the magnificent Anglican Church which Hamilton Brown built in Brown’s Town (and where, as a child, I learned the catechism, was baptized and confirmed, and served as an acolyte).
Say Congress agrees to reparations. Would Obama and Harris receive a cut? Not only do they have slave owners in their history, but they are worth a lot of money? James Robbins wrote at USA Today on Monday that reparations for slavery come with a lot “of thorny problems.” How do we research all the individual bloodlines in a family? If we manage to accomplish that, then how do we determine who pays the reparations? What about those who had families who fought for the Union or did not have slaves?
What About the “Others?”
It’s a Pandora’s box I’d rather not open because where would it end? How about Americans treatment of Catholics? My Italian Catholic great-grandparents came to America in the 1920s. Do I get a cut? Ed Falco, the author of The Family Corleone, found disturbing information during his research for his book:
For example, the largest mass lynching in U.S. history took place in New Orleans in 1891 — and it wasn’t African-Americans who were lynched, as many of us might assume. It was Italian-Americans.
After nine Italians were tried and found not guilty of murdering New Orleans Police Chief David Hennessy, a mob dragged them from the jail, along with two other Italians being held on unrelated charges, and lynched them all. The lynchings were followed by mass arrests of Italian immigrants throughout New Orleans, and waves of attacks against Italians nationwide.
What was the reaction of our country’s leaders to the lynchings? Teddy Roosevelt, not yet president, famously said they were “a rather good thing.” The response in The New York Times was worse. A March 16, 1891, editorial referred to the victims of the lynchings as “… sneaking and cowardly Sicilians, the descendants of bandits and assassins.” An editorial the next day argued that: “Lynch law was the only course open to the people of New Orleans. …”
How about the treatment of Irish immigrants? The Irish arrived in droves in the 19th century due to the potato famine. Americans did not welcome them with open arms:
Anti-Catholic, anti-Irish mobs in Philadelphia destroyed houses and torched churches in the deadly Bible Riots of 1844. New York Archbishop John Hughes responded by building a wall of his own around Old St. Patrick’s Cathedral in order to protect it from the native-born population, and he stationed musket-wielding members of the Ancient Order of Hibernians to guard the city’s churches. Wild conspiracy theories took root that women were held against their will in Catholic convents and that priests systematically raped nuns and then strangled any children born as a result of their union.
The violence turned deadly in Louisville, Kentucky, in August 1855 when armed Know-Nothing members guarding polling stations on an election day launched street fights against German and Irish Catholics. Immigrant homes were ransacked and torched. Between 20 and 100 people, including a German priest fatally attacked while attempting to visit a dying parishioner, were killed. Thousands of Catholics fled the city in the riot’s aftermath, but no one was ever prosecuted for crimes committed on “Bloody Monday.”
Newspapers and businesses flashed ads and signs that read NO IRISH NEED APPLY. Political cartoonists drew “Celtic ape-men with sloping foreheads and monstrous appearances.”DONATE
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