Transcript for Beto and Amy O'Rourke open up about being descendants of slave owners
So Amy, lovely to have you. You have three children. I have to read this because I can't remember this. 8 years old, 11 years old and 12. Yes. I could assume that, you know, Beto's running must have been a big decision for you. I mean, he's going to be away a lot and you're home with the in fact, I heard you started to cry when you heard he was running. Is that true? No, no, I didn't cry. I did cry in about 2009 or 2010 when I was pregnant with Henry and Beto said I think I want to run for congress. Oh for congress. Out of the blue. I did cry then. But I took some time to think about it. He decided to run in the next cycle and I think what, for me, the fear was that he would go to D.C. And he would change and he would become this different person that I didn't know. And then he was elected. He served six years in the house and he was the same. He was a great husband, an incredible father, and so in 2016 when president trump was elected, it was a very easy decision to come to to say we needed to do something and we were going to run for -- I heard that you read Michelle Obama's book "Becoming" in preparation. I did. Were you at all taken with the fact that it was difficult? When I read the book, the first half was amazing. I loved hearing about her early years. And then as soon as it turned to the campaign, my stomach turned because, you know, she was a working mother. She was on the road two or three days a week and she is so strong, brilliant, and she made it look so easy but in the book you could tell that it was a really struggle. And so, yeah, it was, you know -- Tough. It's tough. I remember you putting the book down one night when we were in bed together and looking over at me and saying, what in the hell are we about to do? And yet you helped to make the decision to do this because you know that the future of this country is at stake. But, she's an amazing, amazing person. Amy, the last time your husband was here, we asked him about some things that he had said about your family. He said that he, quote, sometimes helps raise your kids. It didn't go over well with a lot of working moms. He mentioned you weren't thrilled with those comments yourself. Sunny and I said it's lucky that he's not married to either of us. Yeah. What was that conversation like for you? It wasn't that I was upset with him because any time he had said something like that, I think it probably just didn't come across the right way. I think what he was really just trying to illustrate was that it is tough for me to be at home and I think he was trying to acknowledge that in his own way. And if I didn't feel his appreciation and his love and his support, then I probably would have been upset by a comment like that. But I think one of the things that I have always loved about Beto is that he -- I was such a shy person growing up and he, from the very moment I met him, had so much -- just such a strong belief in what I could do and has filled me with so much confidence that I never had before. And so, comments like that just are not reflective of our relationship. Are you on the trail together a lot right now? So our kids are at camp. Oh yeah, summer camp. So we get ten days together. That's nice. Which is very rare. I know, I've had it too. My kids are away. It's like a honeymoon again. So yeah, we'll get some time on the road and then we'll get to be at home this weekend. Amy -- Beto, you and Amy recently revealed that you are both descendants of slave owners. After you found out apparently you had a really long talk about what did you say? I've been listening to people about our national story and the foundational racism that defines not just early America but where we are today where there's ten times the wealth in white America than black America, 2.3 million behind bars disproportionate comprised of color, disparities in education and outcome. But learning that our ancestors had owned other people and had helped to create a system that some people in this country have benefitted from -- Was that quite a shock? -- White America. And others have been held down by and that persists today, yeah, it made it very personal for us. But if anything, it renewed the urgency that we feel around making sure that there is repair in this country and that we do not visit this same kind of injustice on future generations. How do you feel about reparations? Yeah. We need to move forward on repair. Sheila Jackson Lee, extraordinary member of congress from Houston, Texas, has authored a reparations bill that would convene a national conversation. Telling stories like ours, telling stories like those of the people here in the room today to make sure that we know the full national story, how did we get to this place? It is not by accident. It is by design. Only when you've had that story can you as a country decide on the next steps and actions that we should take.
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