Mayor Wayne Messam Statement on Beto O’Rourke Announcement on Being a Descendent of Slave Owners

Miramar Mayor and former Florida State University Football National Champion, Wayne Messam commends Mr. O’Rourke’s acknowledgement of being the descendent of slave owners.

Mayor Wayne Messam Statement on Beto O’Rourke Announcement on Being a Descendent of Slave Owners 1

His statement acknowledging benefiting from a “system that my ancestors built to favor themselves at the expense of others…” speaks directly to the issue of inequities in America. Descendants of Slaves in America are still playing catch up of as a result of Slavery, Jim Crow Laws and present day bias. The stolen and unrealized Wealth, Property Ownership, Education and other socio-economic factors have yet to be formally acknowledged, quantified and compensated by the United States of America. That is why the reparation question has become so popular during this 2020 Presidential Cycle.

By making this acknowledgement of being a beneficiary of Slavery as a Presidential candidate opens the door for each candidate to speak specifically on what they would do to atone for this nation’s sin against Black Americans who are descendents of Enslaved Africans brought to this nation. Universal solutions that benefit all people are good ideas to address universal needs, however, Africa-Americans were the ones who were enslaved. Black people are the ones who suffered, denied compensation, denied being educated, unable to get loans, own property and many other imposed racist based restrictions that to this day have a continual impact to this day.

As the husband of a wife whose foreparents were enslaved and the father of three children whose maternal foreparents were enslaved here in America. I want to see an America that acknowledges this sin and atones for it. We can begin by the passage of H.R.40 – Commission to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African-Americans Act which would lead to solutions approved by congress and signed by a Messam Administration.

So America, what will it be? When will this nation have an honest conversation about this matter and do something about it? Thank you Mr. O’Rourke for revealing this. It shows that  you have the capacity to acknowledge what has been either denied or ignored by others. Are there other candidates who share a similar experience? What will they do to atone? Follow Beto’s lead.