Senator Mitch McConnell’s Ancestors Were Slave Owners | NBC News Now

SAT DOWN TO EXPLAIN HOW HE FIGURED OUT McCONNELL’S FAMILY FIGURED OUT McCONNELL’S FAMILY HISTORY HISTORY

>> RECENTLY, SENATOR MITCH >> RECENTLY, SENATOR MITCH McCONNELL, THE SENATE MAJORITY McCONNELL, THE SENATE MAJORITY LEADER, A POWERFUL REPUBLICAN LEADER, A POWERFUL REPUBLICAN FROM KENTUCKY, CAME OUT AGAINST FROM KENTUCKY, CAME OUT AGAINST REPARATIONS FOR REPARATIONS FOR AFRICAN-AMERICANS WHO HAD AFRICAN-AMERICANS WHO HAD SLAVES SLAVES SO WE LOOKED INTO HIS FAMILY SO WE LOOKED INTO HIS FAMILY BACKGROUND AND IT LOOKS LIKE BACKGROUND AND IT LOOKS LIKE BOTH OF HIS GREAT, GREAT BOTH OF HIS GREAT, GREAT GRANDFATHERS WERE SLAVE OWNERS GRANDFATHERS WERE SLAVE OWNERS IN LIMESTONE COUNTY, ALABAMA IN LIMESTONE COUNTY, ALABAMA BETWEEN THE TWO OF THEM THEY BETWEEN THE TWO OF THEM THEY OWNED AT LEAST 14 SLAVES

OWNED AT LEAST 14 SLAVES REPARATIONS, THE FEELING THAT REPARATIONS, THE FEELING THAT AFRICAN-AMERICANS NEED TO BE AFRICAN-AMERICANS NEED TO BE REIMBURSED FOR THE GENERATIONS REIMBURSED FOR THE GENERATIONS OF FREE LABOR THEY PROVIDED THAT OF FREE LABOR THEY PROVIDED THAT HELPED MAKE THIS COUNTRY THE HELPED MAKE THIS COUNTRY THE ECONOMIC POWERHOUSE THAT IT WAS ECONOMIC POWERHOUSE THAT IT WAS MITCH McCONNELL’S OBJECTION TO MITCH McCONNELL’S OBJECTION TO THIS WHOLE ISSUE IS THAT IT THIS WHOLE ISSUE IS THAT IT WOULD BE HARD TO FIGURE OUT WHO WOULD BE HARD TO FIGURE OUT WHO WOULD GET THE PAYMENT WOULD GET THE PAYMENT

AND HE WENT ON TO SAY THAT, AND HE WENT ON TO SAY THAT, WELL, IF THIS IS AN ORIGINAL SIN WELL, IF THIS IS AN ORIGINAL SIN THAT THE UNITED STATES HAS THAT THE UNITED STATES HAS ALREADY PRETTY MUCH DEALT WITH ALREADY PRETTY MUCH DEALT WITH AND AS PART OF THE PROOF, WE HAD AND AS PART OF THE PROOF, WE HAD A BLACK PRESIDENT A BLACK PRESIDENT THERE HAVE BEEN A NUMBER OF THERE HAVE BEEN A NUMBER OF HEARINGS ON THE SUBJECT HEARINGS ON THE SUBJECT AND IT’S SOMETHING THAT SOME AND IT’S SOMETHING THAT SOME MEMBERS OF CONGRESS HAVE BEEN MEMBERS OF CONGRESS HAVE BEEN PUSHING FOR, FOR DECADES

PUSHING FOR, FOR DECADES IT SORT OF GAINED TRACTION IT SORT OF GAINED TRACTION RECENTLY AT A RECENT HEARING RECENTLY AT A RECENT HEARING AND BASICALLY IT WAS IN RESPONSE AND BASICALLY IT WAS IN RESPONSE TO WHAT WAS HAPPENING AT THAT TO WHAT WAS HAPPENING AT THAT HEARING THAT SENATOR McCONNELL HEARING THAT SENATOR McCONNELL WEIGHED IN WEIGHED IN

AND BECAUSE HE WEIGHED IN, WE AND BECAUSE HE WEIGHED IN, WE SORT OF BEGIN — STARTED LOOKING SORT OF BEGIN — STARTED LOOKING INTO HIM INTO HIM IT JUST OCCURRED TO ME THAT, IT JUST OCCURRED TO ME THAT, WELL, IF HE’S GOT AN OPINION, WELL, IF HE’S GOT AN OPINION, MAYBE THERE’S SOME MYSTERY MAYBE THERE’S SOME MYSTERY BEHIND IT BEHIND IT >> HE HAD FAMILY IN ALABAMA

>> HE HAD FAMILY IN ALABAMA I TOOK A SHOT AND THOUGHT, WELL, I TOOK A SHOT AND THOUGHT, WELL, MAYBE THEY MIGHT HAVE BEEN SLAVE MAYBE THEY MIGHT HAVE BEEN SLAVE OWNERS THEMSELVES OWNERS THEMSELVES TYPED INTO GOOGLE, HOW DO YOU TYPED INTO GOOGLE, HOW DO YOU FIND OUT IF YOUR ANCESTORS WERE FIND OUT IF YOUR ANCESTORS WERE SLAVES OR SLAVE OWNERS AND UP SLAVES OR SLAVE OWNERS AND UP POPPED A LOT OF GENEALOGICAL POPPED A LOT OF GENEALOGICAL SITES SITES

I WENT BACK THREE, FOUR I WENT BACK THREE, FOUR GENERATIONS AND LOOKED FOR THE GENERATIONS AND LOOKED FOR THE ANCESTORS THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN ANCESTORS THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN AROUND DURING THE CIVIL WAR AROUND DURING THE CIVIL WAR AND I’M NOT A POLITICAL REPORTER AND I’M NOT A POLITICAL REPORTER SO I DON’T TELL YOU HOW THIS IS SO I DON’T TELL YOU HOW THIS IS GOING TO PLAY OUT POLITICALLY GOING TO PLAY OUT POLITICALLY I DON’T KNOW HOW THIS WILL I DON’T KNOW HOW THIS WILL AFFECT THE DEBATE OVER AFFECT THE DEBATE OVER REPARATIONS

REPARATIONS BUT HE’S PROBABLY THE MOST BUT HE’S PROBABLY THE MOST PROMINENT REPUBLICAN TO COME PROMINENT REPUBLICAN TO COME FLAT OUT AGAINST IT FLAT OUT AGAINST IT AND I THINK THAT SUPPORTERS FOR AND I THINK THAT SUPPORTERS FOR REPARATIONS — REPARATIONS — >> SENATOR McCONNELL REPORTED TO >> SENATOR McCONNELL REPORTED TO ALL OF THIS LIKENING HIMSELF TO ALL OF THIS LIKENING HIMSELF TO PRESIDENT OBAMA ON THE ISSUE OF PRESIDENT OBAMA ON THE ISSUE OF REPARATIONS REPARATIONS

>> WERE YOU AWARE THAT YOUR >> WERE YOU AWARE THAT YOUR GREAT, GREAT GRANDFATHERS WERE GREAT, GREAT GRANDFATHERS WERE SLAVE OWNERS IN ALABAMA BEFORE SLAVE OWNERS IN ALABAMA BEFORE THE CIVIL WAR? THE CIVIL WAR? AND HAS THAT FORMED YOUR AND HAS THAT FORMED YOUR OPPOSITION ON REPARATION? OPPOSITION ON REPARATION? >> I FIND MYSELF IN THE SAME >> I FIND MYSELF IN THE SAME POSITION AS PRESIDENT OBAMA POSITION AS PRESIDENT OBAMA WE BOTH OPPOSE REPARATIONS, AND WE BOTH OPPOSE REPARATIONS, AND WE BOTH ARE THE DESCENDANTS OF WE BOTH ARE THE DESCENDANTS OF SLAVE OWNERS SLAVE OWNERS >> NBC NEWS HASN’T INDEPENDENTLY >> NBC NEWS HASN’T INDEPENDENTLY VERIFIED McCONNELL’S CLAIM ABOUT VERIFIED McCONNELL’S CLAIM ABOUT THE FORMER PRESIDENT’S FAMILY THE FORMER PRESIDENT’S FAMILY OWNING SLAVES, ALTHOUGH IT WAS OWNING SLAVES, ALTHOUGH IT WAS REPORTED BY THE GUARDIAN AND REPORTED BY THE GUARDIAN AND "THE NEW YORK TIMES" IN 2007

"THE NEW YORK TIMES" IN 2007 WE REACHED OUT TO THE FORMER

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