It's Our Reparations And We Need Them Now: America's First Black Billionaire Says He Wants His Reparations Check Now

July 22, 2021

BET founder, and the first African American billionaire, Robert L. Johnson is calling on the federal government to pay out $14 trillion in reparations to Black Americans according to his Vice News Interview.

Many have argued for African Americans to be compensated for the numerous past abominable and inhumane act committed against them during and post slavery. From the forceful and deadly transportation of our ancestors from the African continent, to their enslavement on American shores, the atrocities committed against African Americans cannot truly be quantitatively repaid. This fact is especially true when you take into account the ramifications of  these events have trickled down to effecting the African American community even to this day.

"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," Johnson told the outlet. "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's reparation plan would entail the approximately 41.9 million African-Americans in the US receiving $333,400 per person, based on 2019 data from the US Census BureauJohnson isn't just talking the talk but also walking the walk. He is backing up his words with actions by putting a $30 billion tax incentive program in place, Better Opportunity and Outcomes for Socially Disadvantaged Talent (BOOST) Act.

According to the research group, Brookings Institute, average white family holds about 10 times more wealth than black families in the U.S. "In 1861, the value placed on cotton produced by enslaved Blacks was $250 million," Brookings researchers said.

The government however, should not stop simply at monetary compensations when it comes to reparations but also facilitating the creation of programs that assist in bridging the equity gap between the African American community and all other communities within the U.S. It means taking a look at the current unfair distribution of wealth, fixing the corrupt justice system, and allocating resources to communities in dire need.

What are your thoughts on the African American community finally receiving reparations? And what would look like just dues to you? We'd love to hear your thoughts so comment down below!

Written by Precious Onukwuli

Brookings Institute: Big Ideas

US Census Bureau

Vice News

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1 Response

Joshua Brantley
Joshua Brantley

July 22, 2021

The dues should reflect the same areas that were damaged or withheld. For sure there has to be monetary compensation. In addition, there should be a land component because of how were promised land we never received. There has to be an educational component because of how we were prevented from reading and once we receive access to education it was half truths from low quality textbooks in underfunded school systems with a prison pipeline attached. There also have to be a reform healthcare and police policies & practice. The whole system needs an OS update. Lastly, I’d like a 300K bagged dropped on me like the next man but what about setting something in perpetuity. The reason why Blacks were suppressed and oppressed for so long was due to the implementation of laws, policies, and practices over a duration of time. A 300K bag would be a huge BOOST to stimulate Black wealth and a great start down the road of reparations but once a house is purchased, a business is started, or other purchases/investments are made (hopefully educated ones) , that money can be gone quick for many of our people. In addition to the funds, we need land, laws, policies, and practices set in perpetuity for unchangeable by law for about 200 years. Sounds crazy I know but I believe this is the only way. Lastly, this is primetime for reparations. If we have ever been close this is the closest and most opportune time. I appreciate Mr. Robert L. Johnson using his voice and platform. Hopefully others will follow suit. Any thoughts?

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