More than 100 American political leaders have slave ancestors

By Lawrence Delevingne

(Reuters) –

* At least 100 members of the last sitting Congress are direct descendants of ancestors who enslaved black people, representing at least 8% of Democrats in Congress and 28% of Republicans. * The group includes Republican Senators Mitch McConnell, Lindsey Graham, Tom Cotton and James Lankford, and Democrats Elizabeth Warren, Tammy Duckworth, Jeanne Shaheen and MaggieHassan. * President Joe Biden and all living former US presidents except Donald Trump are direct descendants of slavers: Jimmy Carter, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. * The governors of 11 of the 50 U.S. states in 2022 were descendants of slave owners, as were two justices of the U.S. Supreme Court. * Congress’s slave-holding ancestors were among the wealthiest in America before the Civil War; three-quarters were among the top 10%. * Researching America’s political elite, Reuters found the names of more than 700 people enslaved by the leaders’ ancestors. * Some 23% of respondents to a new Reuters/Ipsos poll said knowing a candidate’s ancestors enslaved people would make them less likely to vote for that candidate, and white respondents who said they knew they had a slave ancestor were more likely than other whites to vote for this candidate. support the payment of reparations for slavery.

(Editing by Blake Morrison)

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