Beto O’Rourke Reveals His Ancestors Once Owned Slaves

Beto O’Rourke is getting candid about his family history.

The 46-year-old presidential hopeful revealed that he recently discovered his great-great-great-grandfather was a slave owner in the 1800s.

Beto explained that his newfound knowledge increased his desire to end the injustice between “white America” and “black America” through policy change and reparations.

“[My ancestors] were able to build wealth on the backs and off the sweat of others, wealth that they would then be able to pass down to their children and their children’s children,” Beto wrote on Medium, adding that this had the opposite effect on others, who faced repercussions in the forms of “economic exclusions and racism in the form of Jim Crow, lynchings, convict leasing, voter suppression, red lining, predatory lending, and mass incarceration.”

He continued, “I benefit from a system that my ancestors built to favor themselves at the expense of others. That only increases the urgency I feel to help change this country so that it works for those who have been locked-out of — or locked-up in — this system.”

Beto mentioned plans for policy changes including the areas of education, economics, healthcare, and criminal justice, such as ending the drug war and expunging arrest records for nonviolent drug crimes.

“We all need to know our own story as it relates to the national story, much as I am learning mine. It is only then, I believe, that we can take the necessary steps to repair the damage done and stop visiting this injustice on the generations that follow ours,” he concluded.

Read all of what Beto O’Rourke had to say on Medium.

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