“Reparations would require the entire country to … admit that the result of slavery has been 200 years of systemic racism and for that reason Black folks have been denied $13-15 trillion of wealth and therefore we as a country now must atone by paying Black people of all stripes —the rich ones, the poor ones, and the middle—out of our pocket.”
On June 1, 2020, Robert Johnson, founder of BET and America’s first black billionaire, told CNBC he wants $14 trillion of reparations from the U.S. government.
Johnson has not changed his mind. He told VICE News on Tuesday reparations would close the wage gap:
He is continuing to push for a $14 trillion reparations proposal he says would provide enough to close the yawning Black/white wealth gap that exists through home ownership, wages, and occupational attainment, among other imbalances. Though he’s not exactly optimistic.
“Reparations would require the entire country to … admit that the result of slavery has been 200 years of systemic racism and for that reason Black folks have been denied $13-15 trillion of wealth and therefore we as a country now must atone by paying Black people of all stripes —the rich ones, the poor ones, and the middle—out of our pocket,” Johnson says.
Still, he’s working to get his proposal in front of legislators and backing a $30 billion tax incentive program, the Better Opportunity and Outcomes for Socially Disadvantaged Talent (BOOST) Act, to help grease the wheels of change.
And he wants his check. It’s due.
I guess we already hand out reparations because Johnson views them as not real reparations. These include critical race theory, housing grant programs, black farmer relief, and corporate pledges are reparations. He describes them as “placebo paternalism.” Johnson said:
“That’s what’s happening to the reparations—it’s been cut up into small pieces of things that look and feel like, ‘We want to end systemic racism, we want to end police brutality and shootings and to provide financing to Black small business owners,’” Johnson tells VICE News.
“And then people can say, ‘Well, we really don’t need reparations because when you put all of these things together, it’s reparations. It’s just not one big bill or asking this country to stand up and apologize, and you’re not asking people to pay out of their paychecks.”
But that’s the problem, Johnson says. He calls the current approach “placebo paternalism.”
“Reparations had two components: The first was atonement, and the other was monetary,” he adds. “With no doubt whatsoever, it was supposed to come from the government representing the people of the country. It was reimbursement, or recompense if you will, for the harm.”
How can anyone take Johnson seriously? I wrote about him in 2019 and 2020. Do these stories sound like someone who wants reparations and identifies with the left? I mean, he calls for reparations and dismisses the idea of white privilege.
- BET Founder Robert Johnson: Democratic Party has Moved ‘Too Far to the Left’ and Praises Trump
- BET Founder on White People Tearing Down Statues: ‘Frankly, Black People Don’t Give a Damn’
Here is a video of Johnson’s appearance on CNBC last year.DONATE
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