BET founder Bob Johnson has the ear of the President of the United States. So when he announced his plans to ask the U.S. government to pay $14 trillion in reparations for slavery, he got everyone's attention.
Johnson and President Donald Trump are close friends. When Mr. Johnson talks, Trump listens.
Until now, reparations paid to Black people for slavery was just a pipe dream or a political talking point to draw in Black voters.
In an appearance on CNBC's "Squawk Box," Johnson said $14 trillion in "wealth transfer" to Black people is necessary to close the gap between the haves and the have nots.
"Now is the time to go big" Johnson said on CNBC. "Wealth transfer is what's needed," he contended. "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."
Johnson said he had a plan for reparations on his website since last year. "I'm not new to this challenge," said the 74-year-old media mogul. "I'm talking about cash. We are a society based on wealth. That's the foundation of capitalism."
Presumptive Democratic candidate Joe Biden has voiced his opposition to slavery reparations. Which means Johnson will have his best shot at getting reparations approved while Trump is still in office.