A report conducted by Reuters shows that the current U.S. elite abounds with the descendants of slave-owning families.
The report highlights that 100 living American politicians and senior officials belong to slave-owning families: 5 presidents (including Biden), 2 supreme court justices, 11 governors, and 100 legislators.
“A fifth of the nation’s congressmen, living presidents, Supreme Court justices, and governors are direct descendants of ancestors who enslaved Black people,” the report reads.
According to the report, 100 out of 536 members of the 117th Congress, descend from at least one slave owner: 8% of Democrats and 28% of Republicans.
The report points out that President Biden and every living former president (Jimmy Carter, George W Bush, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama through maternal lineage) with the exception of Donald Trump are descendants of slave owners. Donald Trump’s ancestors migrated to the U.S. after abolishing slavery.
Slave-owner lineage plagues both congressional Democrats and Republicans including some of the most influential politicians in America: Republican senators Mitch McConnell, Lindsey Graham, Tom Cotton, and James Lankford, and Democrats Elizabeth Warren, Tammy Duckworth, Jeanne Shaheen, and Maggie Hassan.
Furthermore, the report points out that two out of nine sitting justices are descendants of slave owners: Amy Coney Barrett and Neil Gorsuch.
Additionally, several governors were reported to be from slave-owner families as well. In 2022, the governors of 11 states were of slave-owner lineage: the governors of Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia.
Commenting on the findings of the report, Henry Louis Gates Jr, a professor at Harvard University, says that these revelations show how intimately tied the American bureaucracy remains to the institution of slavery.