Robert Johnson, America’s first black billionaire living in a Los Angeles mansion, is pushing hard for the government to pay $14 trillion in reparations — and he wants his check, too.
“Reparations would necessitate the entire country… admitting that slavery resulted in 200 years of systemic racism,” the creator of Black Entertainment Television told Vice.
“As a result, black people have been denied $13–15 trillion in wealth, and we as a country must now atone by paying black people of all stripes — rich, poor, and in the middle — out of our own pockets,” Johnson told the source.
Johnson, who owns multiple houses and runs an asset management company, claims that this implies money for him and other wealthy and well-known African-Americans, citing Oprah Winfrey, Michael Jordan, and LeBron James as examples.
In fact, he claims that they are more worthy since they have a track record of putting their money to good use, and those reparations should be seen as an investment rather than a handout.
“The idea is you’ve had enough if you’re a successful black business,” Johnson said in an exclusive interview of people who disregard the payments.
“That’s what’s happening with reparations: it’s being cut up into small pieces that look and feel like, ‘We want to end systemic racism, we want to end police brutality and shootings, and we want to provide financing to black small business owners,’” Johnson tells Vice News.
“Then people can say, ‘Well, we don’t really need reparations because when you put all of these things together, it’s reparations,’” he said.
“It’s just not one big bill, and you’re not asking people to pay out of their paychecks,” he said of the present method, which he derided as “placebo paternalism.”
However, he told Vice, “no one ever asks if [a white-owned business] is too rich to benefit from investing in a football stadium” or getting other advantages such as favorable tax status or Federal Reserve liquidity injections.
Mr. Johnson has been a major critic of how the local wealth transfer in Los Angeles is proceeding for decades, but he now wants to blast his criticism all over America.
Johnson, who is attempting to bring his plan before lawmakers, thinks that recent initiatives such as critical race theory in schools and debt relief for black farmers are being used to divert attention away from the “wealth transfer” he has said he is pursuing.