Every living American president except for Donald Trump—and including Barack Obama—is descended from enslavers, according to a Reuters investigation into the backgrounds of the nation’s political elite. The examination found that five presidents, two Supreme Court justices, 11 state governors, and more than 100 members of Congress had ancestors who enslaved people (in Obama’s case through his mother). They included figures from both parties, although the study found that congressional Republicans (28 percent) were more likely to have had enslaving ancestors than Democrats (8 percent). “The preponderance of Republicans reflects the party’s strength in the South, where slavery was concentrated,” Reuters noted.
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