EL PASO, TX—Following on the heels of an announcement that he and his wife were the descendants of slave-owners, Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke went further Monday by admitting that members of his family were responsible for the My Lai Massacre as well as the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire. “The issues of war crimes and worker exploitation have long been important to me, but they’ve taken on additional significance since I’ve learned about my uncle Roger O’Rourke, who served as a commander in Vietnam and gave the orders leading to the mass murder of civilians in South Vietnam, as well as my great-grandfather once removed, Eunice O’Rourke, who owned and operated the garment factory that caught fire and led to the death of 146 employees,” wrote O’Rourke in an emotional Medium post, noting that he himself had benefitted from an exploitative system of privilege built by his ancestors, including a cousin who piloted the Hindenburg and his maternal great-aunt, “Typhoid Mary” Mallon, who was the original vector for the deadly disease. “The descendants of those who survived the Donner Party, Salem Witch Trials, and the U.S.S. Indianapolis shark attack did so despite the odds being stacked against them by my family. The fact that I have been the beneficiary of this corrupt system only gives me a greater sense of urgency in working as hard as I can to level the playing field.” O’Rourke added that he had done a lot of soul-searching about his lineage after the revelation that one of his earliest ancestors had invented murder by slaying his brother, Abel.
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