Robert Johnson, The Founder of BET, first revealed his plan on CNBC’s Squawkbox.
“Wealth transfer is what’s needed,” Roberts said. “Think about this. Since 200-plus-years or so of slavery, labor taken with no compensation, is a wealth transfer. Denial of access to education, which is a primary driver of accumulation of income and wealth, is a wealth transfer.”
His reparations plan would work out as a one-time cash payment of around $350,767, with over 42 million black Americans that would be eligible for the payout. The specific calculation would be based on income, education, savings and home-ownership.
Johnson then defended his plan to Bret Smith on Fox News.
“As in always, the people who pay for revenue investments that this country needs are us, the taxpayers. And the taxpayers will pay for this, because for two reasons, particularly,” Roberts argued. “One, it is an atonement for 200-plus years of slavery… segregation, Jim Crowism, and a denial of equal opportunity rights. But the result of that payment would be to bring African-Americans equal to white Americans in terms of opportunity, wealth and income.”
Johnson then claimed that white America should not look at the reparations plan as a payment, but “as an investment in 40 million African-Americans, who deserve equal treatment and equal opportunity.”
Johnson provided no details as to who would be responsible to pay, or how it would be paid.
A paper published by Social Science Quarterly estimated cash reparations could cost between $5.9 trillion and $14.2 trillion. So who exactly would pay this $14 trillion debt? Would ancestors of the more than 642,000 Union soldiers who died to abolish slavery be exempt? What about the 2 million men who risked their lives during the war?
The United States became home to more immigrants in the three decades after the Civil War than during the previous three centuries combined. They and their ancestors had nothing to do with slavery. By 1907 1.3 million people had entered the country through Ellis Island alone. Again, they and their ancestors had nothing to do with slavery. More than 50 million more people immigrated here over the next four decades. They and their ancestors had nothing to do with slavery. Would we exclude these innocents from paying reparations?