The nation’s first black billionaire and founder of Black Entertainment Television (BET), Robert L. Johnson, claims that the only way for the U.S. to get past its history with slavery is to pay reparations to black people.
Floating a whopping $14 trillion plan, Johnson insists that this is the only way to close the black-white wealth gap and heal the rift between the races.
Johnson recently noted that “reparations” plans are popping up all across the nation in smaller policy suggestions. Projects including the debt relief for black farmers, the housing program for blacks instituted by Evanston, Illinois, corporate set-asides, and other programs that have the central theme of making amends for past slights to black people are slowly proliferating across the country.
“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,’” Robert Johnson told VICE News on Tuesday.
“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,” the BET founder added.
Still, Johnson, who said four more years of Donald Trump in the White House would’ve been a good thing for America, is not celebrating these attempts to backdoor reparations. He calls them “placebo paternalism.”