US, WASHINGTON (ORDO NEWS) — Robert Johnson, founder of Black Entertainment Television, told CNBC that the US government should pay $ 14 trillion in reparations for black slavery to reduce racial inequality in the country.
The stratification of the population by income level and the brutality of the police towards blacks are the cause of the protests that erupted across the country after the murder of George Floyd last week during his arrest in Minneapolis.
“It’s time to play big” to prevent America from splitting into two separate and unequal societies, Johnson said.
“Transferring wealth is what you need. Think about it,” Johnson said. According to him, the black population after more than 200 years of slavery did not gain access to education, which is the driving force for the accumulation of wealth.
Johnson made history as America’s first black billionaire when he sold BET to Viacom in 2001. Shortly after the sale, he founded the investment company The RLJ Cos. Now he is no longer on the list of billionairesForbes .
Calling the reparations a “program of positive discrimination of all time,” Johnson said they would send a signal that white Americans would acknowledge the “damage due” for the unequal playing field created by slavery.
“Losses are a normal factor in a capitalist society when you are deprived of certain rights,” he said, noting that if this money falls into people’s pockets, it will return to the economy, and more companies founded by black people will also appear.
Johnson said the reparation claim has appeared on his website since last year. He stated that he did not advocate more bureaucratic programs that are not being implemented.
He emphasized: “I am talking about money. We are a society based on wealth. This is the foundation of capitalism.”
Chairman and CEO of pharmaceutical company Merck & Co. Ken Fraser, who had previously stated that he could have been in Floyd’s place, expressed doubt about the possibility of redress.
“I do not believe that we will be able to get something like this through our political system,” he said.
However, he said: “Leaders in the business community are a unifying force. They can be a source of opportunity. They can be a source of understanding.”
“We, as business leaders, can go out and solve many of these economic problems for people,” Fraser added, noting that education, especially financial literacy, is a “great equalizer.”
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