Black Entertainment Television (BET) founder, Robert Johnson has stated that tearing down statues across America and canceling TV shows achieves ‘nothing’ in the fight for racial equality.
Calls have been mounting to take down statues and symbols of racist and Confederate figures amid protests demanding an end to systemic racism in the wake of the Memorial Day ‘murder’ of black man George Floyd.
Robert Johnson, who became the first black American billionaire in 2001 – and has previously called on the US government to provide slavery reparations,- called protesters pulling down Confederate and racist statues ‘borderline anarchists’ and said ‘black people laugh at white people’ doing it, as president Donald Trump prepares to use US Marshals to defend monuments and statues nationwide.
‘What white people are doing with the idea that they’re making us feel good is tantamount to rearranging the deck chairs on a racial Titanic,’ he told Fox News.
‘It absolutely means nothing.’
He said these actions are simply being done by white people to ‘assuage their guilt’ and urged them instead to ‘ask us what we think first’.
Johnson, who says Black Lives Matter should form its own political party, said taking down statues misses the point about the inequality black people face every day in America and that it does not close the wealth gaps between white and black people.
‘Look, the people who are basically tearing down statues, trying to make a statement are basically borderline anarchists, the way I look at it. They really have no agenda other than the idea we’re going to topple a statue,’ Johnson told Fox News.
‘It’s not going to close the wealth gap. It’s not going to give a kid whose parents can’t afford college money to go to college.
“It’s not going to close the labor gap between what white workers are paid and what black workers are paid. And it’s not going to take people off welfare or food stamps.’
Johnson said white protesters are misguided in thinking that black people support their efforts to remove statues, cancel TV shows and fire professors who say ‘all lives matter’, saying ‘frankly, black people don’t give a damn’.
‘[They] have the mistaken assumption that black people are sitting around cheering for them saying “Oh, my God, look at these white people. They’re doing something so important to us. They’re taking down the statue of a Civil War general who fought for the South,” Johnson said.
‘You know, black people, in my opinion, black people laugh at white people who do this the same way we laugh at white people who say we got to take off the TV shows.’