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Real History': Ulysses S. Grant, Anti-Semitism, and Admitting Wrongdoing as President


While in command of the Union army, Ulysses S. Grant issued the most anti-Semitic order in American history; expelling Jews from Kentucky, Mississippi and Tennessee. After the war, when he became President of the United States, Grant apologized and worked to repair relations with the 150,000 Jewish Americans in the country at that time. Aside from recognizing a lapse of judgement in American history, reflection on that period in time is important for it shows a president that admitted past wrongs and apologized for them. In practical terms, apologies mean admission of wrongdoing – and today that translates to political liability – does it have to? Isn’t character just as important?

Watch a clip from this week's "Real History" documentary on Grant's apology bellow, following the video the "Real News" panel discussed whether character has become a political liability:

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