On the March 2 broadcast of his nationally syndicated radio show, host Rush Limbaugh stated that "since [Sen. Barack] Obama [D-IL] has -- on his mother's side -- forebears of his mother had slaves, could we not say that if Obama wins the Democratic nomination and then wins the presidency, he will own [Rev.] Al Sharpton?" Limbaugh was reacting to a March 2 Chicago Tribune article that reported that two of Obama's ancestors on his mother's side owned slaves.
Sharpton, who ran for the Democratic Party nomination for president in 2004, recently discovered that he is descended from slaves who were owned by an ancestor of former Dixiecrat segregationist presidential candidate Sen. Strom Thurmond (R-SC).
From the March 2 broadcast of Premiere Radio Networks' The Rush Limbaugh Show:
LIMBAUGH: Basically, there's a history of slavery in Obama's family. On his mother's side. We have this, it's in the Chicago Tribune. We also have a -- yes. I said there's a -- Obama's mother had slaves. Forebears, relatives of Obama's mother had slaves. And it's in the Chicago Tribune.
Many people know that Barack Obama's father was from Kenya, his mother from Kansas, but an intriguing sliver of his family history has received almost no attention until now. It appears that forebears of his white mother owned slaves, according to a genealogical research and census records. The records, which have never been addressed publicly by the Illinois senator or his relatives, were first noted in an ancestry report compiled by William Addams Reitwiesner, who works at the Library of Congress and practices genealogy in his spare time. That would mean it's his hobby, for those of you in Rio Linda.
The report on Reitwiesner's website carries a disclaimer that it's a first draft, one likely to be examined more closely if Obama is nominated. Not only that; we also have found out that Reitwiesner's research identifies two other presidential candidates, [Sen.] John McCain [R] of Arizona and [former Sen.] John Edwards [D] of North Carolina, as descendants of slave owners. Three of McCain's great-great-grandfathers in Mississippi owned slaves, including one who owned 52 slaves in 1860. Two ancestors of John Edwards owned one slave each in Georgia in 1860. And now we know that Al Sharpton's relatives were owned by relatives of Strom Thurmond's family out there. So I guess we could say that if, since Obama has -- on his mother's side -- forebears of his mother had slaves, could we not say that if Obama wins the Democratic nomination and then wins the presidency, he will own Al Sharpton?
LIMBAUGH: The real question is, you know, when it, we end up having to pay reparations for slavery, where's the money for Obama's family going to go? To him? He may be interested -- let me see if I can find something very quick. I don't know if I put it at the top of the stack, but there's, this whole thing here, ah, yes. Here it is.