Mitch McConnell: Obama And I Are ‘Both Descendants Of Slaveholders’

Written by Ann Brown
Former US President Barack Obama gestures as he speaks during a town hall meeting at the ‘European School For Management And Technology’ (ESMT) in Berlin, Germany, Saturday, April 6, 2019. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

According to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, he and former President Barack Obama have two major things in common  — they both oppose reparations and they both are descendants of slaveholders.

“You know, once again I find myself in the same position as President Obama, we both oppose reparations, and both are the descendants of slaveholders,” McConnell said recently. He was being asked about a report from NBC that his relatives were slaveholders and if it had changed his opinion about reparations, CNN reported.

According to NBC News, “census records to show that two of McConnell’s great-great-grandfathers were slave owners before the Civil War. Obama has white ancestors who were slave owners, according to reports,Time reported.

During Obama’s first run for president, it was revealed mother’s ancestors were slave owners. And he has been outspoken against reparations.

Obama opposed reparations on the 2008 presidential campaign answering a questionnaire from the NAACP with: “The legacy and stain of slavery are immeasurable; nothing, including reparations, can fully compensate.” 

“So to restate it: I have much more confidence in my 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 said “Now, we can debate the justness of that. But I feel pretty confident in that assessment politically.”

In the past, McConnell agreed with Obama’s electoral success on the topic of reparations and just last month he said he opposed reparations for slavery, pointing out “none of us currently living are responsible” for what he called America’s “original sin.”

“I don’t think reparations for something that happened 150 years ago for whom none of us currently living are responsible is a good idea,” McConnell said.

“We’ve tried to deal with our original sin of slavery by fighting a civil war, by passing landmark civil rights legislation. We elected an African American president,” he added.

Obama’s office has yet to respond to McConnell’s remarks.