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Host from 'The View' Shocked as She Learns Her Ancestors 'Likely' Owned Slaves

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Sunny Hostin, co-host of ABC’s “The View,” said she was “in shock” to find out that she likely is the descendant of a slave trader and owner in a new episode of the PBS series “Finding Your Roots.”

Hostin — a frequent critic of conservatives and the criminal justice system who often portrays those with whom she disagrees on the issues as racists — is apparently a direct descendant of a Spanish slave trafficker.

On Tuesday’s episode of the genealogy show hosted by Henry Louis Gates Jr., he revealed to Hostin that there is a high likelihood carries she carries the DNA of those she constantly claims have oppressed her and others.

Gates told the ABC host and former prosecutor he was able to trace her to a Spaniard who brought slaves to the Americas, People magazine reported.

Not only did that man transport slaves but he owned at least one of them, the PBS host said.

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“Our researchers discovered that her third great-grandfather, Fermín, was the son of a merchant who was likely involved in the slave trade, and Fermín himself owned at least one human being,” he told the PBS audience.

“What’s more, moving back on this line, we found that it originates in Galicia, Spain — evidence of Sunny’s deeper ancestry and her family ties to Spain’s colonial past,” Gates said.

After she was informed of the new connection to her lineage, Hostin appeared to be taken aback.

Are you surprised?

“Wow. I’m a little bit in shock,” she said.

“I just always thought of myself as Puerto Rican, you know, half Puerto Rican,” Hostin added. “I didn’t think I was — my family was originally from Spain and slaveholders.”

Asked by Gates how she felt to hear the news, she said she was appreciative to know she and her Spanish husband share ties to the country and culture.

“I think it’s actually pretty interesting that my husband and I have shared roots, so I do appreciate that,” she said. “And I think it’s great for our children to know this information. I guess it’s a fact of life that this is how some people made their living — on the backs of others.”

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Hostin said she previously believed she was equal parts Puerto Rican from her mother’s side and black from her father’s.

She previously has said she supports financial reparations for slavery.

On “The View” after her “Finding Your Roots” episode aired, Hostin maintained she still does so.

“I still believe in reparations,” she said. “I still believe this country has a lot to do in terms of racial justice.”



The issue of racial reparations has always been complicated, with opponents of paying people for the sins of others’ ancestors questioning who might be owed reparations and who should be paying them.

If the PBS genealogy is accurate, Hostin would owe money to herself, as by her logic she is her own victim and oppressor.


This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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