Report: All Living Presidents Except Trump Descended From Slaveholders

As a growing number of cities and states across the United States pursue plans to pay reparations to Black citizens, a new focus has emerged on the genealogical ties that Americans have to the nation’s history of slavery.

Reuters recently conducted a thorough probe into the family trees of numerous current and former elected officials and reported some discoveries that prompted significant social media discussion.

For starters, all living U.S. presidents come from families that owned slaves in America — except for Donald Trump. Even former President Barack Obama’s family, via his White mother, includes at least one ancestor who owned two slaves.

Trump’s family reportedly arrived in the country after the abolition of slavery in the 19th century.

A pair of long-shot Republican candidates vying for the 2024 presidential nominee — former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson and North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum — also comes from a lineage that benefited from slavery.

Outside of the executive branch, Reuters researchers determined that dozens of other prominent leaders across the political spectrum have slave owners somewhere in their ancestry.

About 36% of lawmakers currently serving in Congress have descendants who owned slaves as do two U.S. Supreme Court justices — Amy Coney Barrett and Neil Gorsuch.

As of last year, more than 20% of all U.S. governors descended from slave owners. Eight of the 11 led states that were part of the Confederacy during the Civil War.

Although many on the left support reparations that essentially penalize individuals for the sins of their descendants, Harvard University professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. took a more forgiving tone in response to the news that Obama and other prominent Democrats have genealogical roots in the slave trade.

“It’s just to say: Look at how closely linked we are to the institution of slavery and how it informed the lives of the ancestors of people who represent us in the United States Congress today,” he said in response to the new report.

Although the research can “tie the past to the present,” he advised that it should not constitute “another chapter in the blame game,” adding: “We do not inherit guilt for our ancestors’ actions.”