The idea that someone’s ideological future is defined by the actions of their ancestors is utterly absurd, yet that’s exactly the kind of connection Reuters tried to make in a recent report that focuses on tying hundreds of elected U.S. officials to slaveholders of centuries past.
After sifting through “tens of thousands of pieces of information contained in thousands of pages of documents,” Reuters found that 100 Democrat and Republican members of Congress, two Supreme Court justices, and every living president except Donald Trump have familial ties to slave owners.
Pictures of the politicians are displayed in multiple diagrams which outline how many generations removed each official is from the offending family members and whether or not he or she returned Reuters’s request for comment.
The article’s authors were quick to note that, despite failing to determine “precisely how many Americans today have a forebear who enslaved people,” “millions of Americans” are also “descendants of enslavers.”
Reuters attempted to frame its investigation as different than the partisan genealogical examinations of years past. The outlet even quotes Henry Louis Gates Jr., a well-known historian, who emphasized that publicizing these family ties is “not another chapter in the blame game” and “we do not inherit guilt for our ancestors’ actions.”
Yet both the Harvard professor and the publication eventually give in to the implication that collective guilt about the nation’s “original sin” should be normalized and that the U.S. is “intimately tied” to “the institution of slavery.”
The intimation that the records “provide a visceral link between today’s decision makers and slavery” is a sentiment often repeated throughout the article. The authors also link America’s slavery track record to current political issues such as the summer 2020 race riots (which the outlet deemed “protests”), President Joe Biden’s repeal of Trump’s executive order banning taxpayer dollars from funding “fundamentally racist or sexist” government trainings, and Democrats’ increased call for reparations.
The campaign to pin the sin of slavery on Americans who had no control over which families they were born into is not a new one. It became even further popularized following the death of George Floyd.
This “great guilting,” often helmed by the radical left, demands that millions of Americans — especially white Americans — must shoulder pay for the crimes of generations past by posting black squares on their social media, donating billions to the Black Lives Matter scam, reading books penned by race grifters, and funding expensive race-based reparations.
The Guilt Gap
Reuters specifically made a point to highlight the disparity between Democrat members of the last Congress, 8 percent of whom appear to have slaveowner ancestors, and Republican members, 28 percent of whom appear to be blood-related to slaveowners from more than a century ago.
The outlet goes on to claim that the “preponderance of Republicans reflects the party’s strength in the South, where slavery was concentrated.”
“Although white people enslaved Black people across Northern states in early America, by the eve of the Civil War, slavery was almost entirely a Southern enterprise,” the article continues.
The attempt to link Republicans specifically to the crimes of those in the past — while failing to acknowledge that Democrats were largely the pro-slavery party at the time — continued with Reuters’s framing of how elected officials responded to the genealogical findings.
Reuters feigned shock that “few were willing to discuss the subject” even when the publication reportedly “made clear that it was not suggesting they were ‘personally responsible for the actions of ancestors who lived 160 or more years ago.’”
Democrats and Republicans both spurned the publication’s attempts to elicit groveling, which Reuters framed as a silence at odds with elected officials’ penchant for speaking “publicly, sometimes eloquently, about the legacy of slavery and the need for racial healing.”
“The reticence underscores the enduring sensitivity of slavery as a political issue, an unease that genealogist [Tony] Burroughs suggests is greatly amplified for many people when one’s own kin are linked to the brutal institution,” Reuters added.
Even then, those who responded to Reuters requests, such as former Republican Rep. Mo Brooks of Alabama, were regarded suspiciously by the outlet which was quick to note he “voted against making Juneteenth a national holiday” and co-sponsored a bill that aimed to keep propaganda like the 1619 Project out of taxpayer-funded schools.
Polls With Partisan Goals
Perhaps the most bizarre but key element of the article is the inclusion of a poll, administered by Reuters, that claims “a politician’s links to slavery might sway some voters.”
“In a national survey, almost a quarter of respondents – 23% – said knowing that a candidate’s ancestors enslaved people would make them less likely to vote for that candidate. That number rose to 31% among respondents who identified as Democrats, and 35% among Black respondents,” Reuters asserted.
The article admitted that it’s “unclear” how this issue compares with “other hot-button issues such as abortion,” yet went on to advance the narrative that those who know they were born into a slaveholding family line are more supportive of race-based initiatives like reparations and a congressional commission to “formally apologize for slavery.”
Both of those proposals are currently led by Democrats who have repeatedly failed to force the idea on Americans, a majority of whom still believe taxpayers shouldn’t have to pay people just because of their race.
The lie that Americans are responsible for the sins of people who have been dead for decades is a vile and dangerous one wielded with the intention of guilting people into supporting partisan and unconstitutional policies. With the publication of this report, Reuters is a willing participant in the effort to paint America as an irredeemably racist nation.