Amid the George Floyd protests going on in the US, Robert Johnson, the founder of Black Entertainment Television (BET) has said the US government should pay up to 14 trillion dollars as reparations to black people for slavery.
Johnson, 74, in an interview with CNBC said that the U.S. government should make $14 trillion available for reparations as the money would help to reduce the ‘systemic racial inequality’ that stems from the country’s history of slavery.
‘Now is the time to go big, short answers to long horrific questions about the stain of slavery are not going to solve the inequality problem,’ Johnson said on CNBC.
‘Wealth transfer is exactly what’s needed,’ Johnson said. ‘Think about this. Since 200-plus-years or so of slavery, labor taken with no compensation, is a wealth transfer. Denial of access to education, which is a primary driver of accumulation of income and wealth, is a wealth transfer.’
Johnson said he believes ‘wealth transfer’ would help to combat inequalities.
‘Is $14 trillion too much to ask for the atonement of 200 plus years of brutal slavery, de facto and de jure government-sponsored social and economic discrimination and the permanent emotional trauma inflicted upon black Americans by being forced to believe in a hypocritical and unfulfilled pledge that ‘all men are created equal’?’ Johnson also wrote in a statement on Monday.
‘Paying reparations or damages owned to generations of black Americans’ would go some way to solving such racial disadvantages in the U.S.’
“It’ll be the largest affirmative action program of all time, and signal that white Americans acknowledge damages that are owed with a wealth transfer to white Americans away from African Americans.’
‘Damages is a normal factor in a capitalist society for when you have been deprived for certain rights,’ Johnson said.
‘If this money goes into pockets like the coronavirus stimulus checks … that money is going to return back to the economy.’
‘There will also be more black-owned businesses’ Johnson said.