McConnell’s Pro-Slavery Mindset Has Just Been Exposed
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) decided to vote against reparations for the descendants of slaves and NBC News quickly called him out for having ancestors that were slave owners.
Two of McConnell’s great-great-grandfathers, Richard Daley and James McConnell, owned at least 14 slaves, all but two of them women, in Limestone County, Alabama, NBC reported, citing countywide “Slave Schedules” published as part of the 1850 and 1860 censuses.
The discovery follows remarks McConnell made in June ahead of a House hearing on reparations. At the time, he referred to slavery as an issue for which “none of us currently living are responsible.”
“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,” he added.
Chuck Collins, a senior scholar at the liberal think tank Institute for Policy Studies, said McConnell’s ancestors demonstrate that despite slavery’s abolition, its economic benefits extended to later generations, whereas slaves were never compensated for their part in building that wealth.
“Smaller farms and plantations still benefited enormously from the unpaid labor of enslaved people, which likely helped them build multigenerational wealth,” Collins told NBC.
“I suspect with the mobility of the American population in the 20th and 21st centuries, most of us have ancestors that owned slaves, including many individuals who did not arrive until well after the Civil War,” Louis Cain, professor emeritus at Loyola University Chicago, told NBC. “The responsibility for what happened was collective, not individual.”