Robert L. Johnson, the founder of BET is pushing a $14 trillion reparations proposal that he believes would potentially close the giant wealth gap between Black and white people.
According to Vice, the 75-year-old businessman and first black billionaire wants the United States government to give Black Americans a check and an apology for slavery, Jim Crow, and hundreds of years of racism.
While the media magnate reveals that he’s doubtful that a check will ever come, he sees a new kind of reparations offer already emerging and being called by a different name so as not be “divisive” or “controversial”.
According to Johnson, the new “reparations” is critical race theory education, a housing grant program in Evanston, Illinois, the $5 billion dollar debt relief plan for Black farmers and the $50 billion in corporate pledges offered in the wake of George Floyd’s murder to combat systemic racism and inequality. (Even though Vice reports only $250 million, or 0.5% of it, has actually materialized so far.)
“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 told VICE News.
“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,” Johnson said.