You’ve Gotta Be Kidding Me

This is the best they can do to smear Barack Obama?

WASHINGTON, March 2 — Genealogists have uncovered a new ingredient in the melting pot identity of Senator Barack Obama, the Illinois Democrat who hopes to become the first black president. His white maternal ancestors once owned slaves.

“The genealogists, led by William Addams Reitwiesner, studied the family history of Mr. Obama’s mother and determined that Mr. Obama’s great-great-great-great grandfather, George Washington Overall, owned two slaves listed in the 1850 census in Nelson County, Ky. Mr. Obama’s great-great-great-great-great grandmother, Mary Duval, also owned two slaves, the records show. ”

[gasp] Y’know what? My great-great-great-great-great grandfather, Tombstone Mitchell, once shot a conservative, just to watch him die.

Predictably the wingnuts are going ape over it. “We wonder if this news is shocking to Al Sharpton?”

Get a load of this, from Matt Drudge: “I am just hoping like hell that the poverty pimp rev. sharpton turns out to be a relative of Strom Thurmond…it will be a riot. He could sure (sic) Thurmonds estate then turn around and pay his followers reparations as a former slave owning family. What a conundrum!”

Yeah, what a conundrum indeed, Matt.

Thankfully, Obama’s campaign seems to be taking it in stride.

“Bill Burton, a spokesman for Mr. Obama, said the senator had long known that he was related to Jefferson Davis, president of the Confederacy, and that another forebear had fought for the Union in the Civil War. Mr. Burton said the findings showed Mr. Obama’s ancestors were “representative of America.”

[snicker] As long Obama doesn’t share Mr. Davis’ affinity for wearing dresses between public appearances, I think the Senator will weather this one too.

Cross posted from AoF

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4 Responses to You’ve Gotta Be Kidding Me

  1. I read an article yesterday by a Canadian journalist, which was very positive about Obama’s mixed ethnicity and international experience. There was much praise for Obama’s book “Dreams of My Father,” for its depiction of life in poor Chicago neighborhoods. Apparently the book is a serious literary work (not exactly what one would expect from a “rock star.”) Has anyone read it?

    When I hear Obama interviewed, I am impressed with the thoughtfulness of his remarks. Not the typical pablum. I know some are concerned that he lacks experience, but I currently lean toward supporting him for president. He can take some old grey-beards with him. An Obama-Richardson ticket would could be dynamite.

  2. Blair Case says:

    Many African Americans who researched their family tree would be shocked to discover they have black ancestors who owned slaves. In the United States, free black Americans as well as whites owned slaves (one of the South’s biggest slave owners was a freed black man). The precentage of free blacks who owned slaves was small, but so was the percentage of whites who owned slaves. African Americans who traced their roots back to Africa would discover virtually all their African ancestors were involved in the slave trade. Africans tribes ran the slave markets on their side of the Atlantic.

  3. george says:

    What about Obama’s Kenyan slave trading/owning roots. Supposedly his ancestors in Kenya were responsible for capturing and selling hundreds and maybe thousands of fellow black Africans to European slave traders. They made a huge fortune at the time and lived like kings.

  4. George writes: “What about Obama’s Kenyan slave trading/owning roots.”

    What about it? Or John McCain’s? Or John Edwards? Or (fill in presidential ’08 contender here)?

    The point is no one does (or should).