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TV ancestry series is a salve for divided America, host says

Posted at 8:06 PM, Jul 29, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-29 23:06:42-04

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — TV host and educator Henry Louis Gates Jr. says PBS’ celebrity ancestry series, “Finding Your Roots,” has a vital message to offer.

Gates said the program reminds viewers that all Americans are descended from immigrants and that everyone shares a common origin.

The Harvard professor said reinforcing that connection is important, given what he called efforts to divide the country.

Suggesting that some Americans have less right to be here than others is insulting and counter to the U.S. Constitution, Gates said Monday.

Gates was making an apparent reference to President Donald Trump’s call for four Democratic House members of color to “go back” to their countries, although all are U.S. citizens and all but one was born in the U.S.