Thursday, October 23, 2008

McCain's Family Tree

The news that Barack Obama and Dick Cheney were related through a common ancestor was pretty eye-opening considering how far apart on the political thread they are, but not shocking given the long and complex history of slavery and inter-racial relationships in this nation.

Now the Website has a fascinating video interview with some of Senator John McCain's black relatives from Mississippi. McCain's great-grandfather was a slave owner and the African-American relatives in questions are his descendants and thus, blood relatives of John McCain.

It strikes me as somewhat ironic that, given all the divisive race-based rhetoric employed by members of the GOP during this election that we discover that McCain himself has black relatives.

Not surprising though. It's far more common than many people might believe, some people are either too freaked out about it to explore or acknowledge it; or simply have no idea.

In the small North Carolina farming town where my father was raised during the Great Depression, there are many white people with my last name; it is somewhat odd to drive around down there and see oil company trucks or businesses with my last name emblazoned on them.

These are descendants of the slave owners who once owned my relatives. This is the reality of the nation we live in.

It's kind of weird. I actually want to do a documentary about it and see if I could get some of the white people who are my distant relatives to participate.

No comments: