Robert Johnson’s Big Idea: $14 trillion in slavery reparations to African-Americans

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Robert Johnson, the founder of Black Entertainment Television, says it’s time America atones for slavery and systemic racism by paying African-Americans reparations to make them economically equal to white Americans.

Johnson, the first black billionaire in the United States, has put a price tag on the debt America owes to African-Americans at $14 trillion.

“Nobody talks about cash, but black people understand cash,” Johnson told Fox News.

Under his proposal, an estimated 40 million African-Americans would get $350,000 in direct cash payments over 30 years (costing the average taxpayer roughly $2,900 a year, according to his office). The $350,000 would signify the wealth disparity between African-Americans and white Americans.

To say this is controversial is an understatement. Some Democratic lawmakers have warmed to the discussion, but often in the form of commissions and other partial measures. A Fox News poll last year found most Americans are opposed to cash reparations. And with the government already spending trillions on coronavirus relief and the national debt pushing past $26 trillion, concerns about the country’s fiscal stability would pose an obvious hurdle.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said last year of the idea: “I think we’re always a work in progress in this country, but no one currently alive was responsible for that, and I don’t think we should be trying to figure out how to compensate for it.”

Johnson contends white Americans built generations of wealth on the backs of slave labor, and black people will never be able to catch up in wealth unless they are paid this debt. – READ MORE

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