Beto O’Rourke: White Americans Don’t Know The Full Story Of Slavery

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Written by Ann Brown
Beto O'Rourke
Former Texas Congressman Beto O’Rourke tours monuments to slave and civil rights leaders before a town hall meeting with members of the Gullah/Geechee Nation Friday, June 14, 2019 in Beaufort, S.C. In South Carolina on Friday, the Democratic presidential candidate and former Texas congressman met with leaders of the Gullah/Geechee Nation, a culture of slave descendants along the Southeast coast. (AP Photo/Meg Kinnard)

Former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke is talking about an issue most of America shies away from. During a campaign stop in South Carolina, O’Rourke admitted to a group who represented slave descendants that “white Americans” don’t know the full story of slavery.

“In a Baptist church in Beaufort, the Democratic presidential candidate and former Texas congressman met with leaders of the Gullah/Geechee Nation, a culture of coastal slave descendants whose separation from the mainland allowed them to retain much of their African heritage, including a unique dialect and skills such as cast-net fishing and basket weaving,” AP News reported.

“The Gullah/Geechee Nation were separated from the mainland, which allowed them to keep some traditions like their dialect and skills like cast-net fishing,” Newsweek reported.

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O’Rourke also spoke of  his own struggle with not knowing enough about the history of slavery in the United States and its lingering ramifications.

“White Americans do not know this story,” O’Rourke said, adding that he had just learned during a tour anti-slavery activist Harriet Tubman had lived in the area.

This isn’t the first time O’Rourke has brought up these issues. He has spoken of white privilege prior, such as at an event at a historically Black college in South Carolina earlier this year.

“In Iowa, he said he didn’t think being a white man in a historically diverse field of candidates put him at a disadvantage because his sex and race have given him inherent advantages for years,” AP News reported.

O’Rourke said he supports slavery reparations and he continues to support the creation of a commission to further study reparations.

“The answer is yes. We must repair this country from its very founding, kidnapping peoples from West Africa, bringing them here in bondage to literally build the wealth of the United States,” he said. “The path there, though, has to come through learning and telling this American story with everyone. Then, I think, we define what reparations look like.”