In light of the controversy over Confederate statues, it’s worth remembering many journalists had relatives on the wrong side of history.
One prominent journalist was connected to slavery and had a relative killed by a slave: Anderson Cooper.
Amazingly, one of Anderson Cooper’s ancestors owned “Friendfield Plantation,” where one of Michelle Obama’s ancestors was a slave.
“Whitney Tower says Michelle Obama is welcome to visit the grave of a slave ancestor on his family’s South Carolina plantation.
One of Tower’s great-great-grandfathers was ferry and railroad baron Cornelius Vanderbilt, and one of Michelle Robinson Obama’s great-great-grandfathers was Jim Robinson, who was born a slave in 1850 at Friendfield in Georgetown, S.C.
Tower, who’s also a cousin of Anderson Cooper and is writing a memoir of addiction, ‘The Gilded Needle,’ told us: ‘After Lincoln freed the slaves, Jim Robinson stayed on and worked there. We believe he was buried there in 1888, in the African-American cemetery. Ms. Obama is welcome to visit anytime.'”
Anderson Cooper’s CNN show “AC 360” did a report on Michelle Obama’s family history and Friendfield Plantation. However, they didn’t mention the connection to Anderson Cooper:
“CNN recently was the first television network allowed to visit the plantation and shoot video. It’s not a museum. It’s just private land, still with shadows of its past.
Friendfield’s most distinctive historical feature, perhaps, is the dirt road known as Slave Street.”
No mention of Anderson Cooper in the whole report.
They must have forgotten.
Apparently, Anderson Cooper thought he should get out in front of this controversy, so he sat down with PBS to talk about his family history.
Here’s Anderson Cooper being told by a PBS reporter that one of his relatives was killed by a slave:
Note that the PBS reporter films Anderson Cooper acting contritely, but is that enough?
Has anyone asked Anderson Cooper to disavow the Vanderbilt fortune that came from this?
Has anyone asked Anderson Cooper to give back his sizable inheritance from the Vanderbilt fortune?
H/T John Smith