America’s first black billionaire wants U.S. taxpayers to write him a reparations check and an apology.
In an interview with Vice.com that was published Tuesday, Robert L. Johnson, founder of Black Entertainment Television, said he, like all black Americans, is owed for “slavery, Jim Crow, and hundreds of years of racism.”
“Reparations had two components: The first was atonement, and the other was monetary,” Johnson told Vice.
“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 even reiterated the price tag he has floated before: $14 trillion.
And as Vice noted Johnson devoutly believes that “wealthy and famous Black Americans like himself — he also names Oprah Winfrey, Michael Jordan, and LeBron James — also should be paid.”
“If you’re a successful Black business, the idea is you’ve had enough,” said Johnson, who added that “no one ever asks if [a white-owned business] is too rich to benefit from investing in a football stadium.”
Of course, Vice neglected to point out how Johnson benefitted when he became the owner of the NBA’s Charlotte Bobcats in 2003. When the owner of the previous Charlotte franchise fled for New Orleans in 2002, the city of Charlotte built a new stadium at taxpayer expense, ensuring that Johnson would not have to “invest” in his own facility.
Seems more like the rich get richer, than anything to do with race.
“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 told Vice.
On this point Vice also neglected to ask Johnson why taxpayers of today, including the more than two-thirds of whites born after the end of Jim Crow laws, and Hispanic- and Asian-Americans should pitch in to help the downtrodden like himself, Oprah, and LeBron.
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