- Herschel Walker said during a hearing in the US House that black Americans should not receive redress.
- “Reparations teach separation,” argued Walker. “Slavery ended over 130 years ago.”
- The democratically run house is ready to set up a commission to examine reparation proposals.
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Former NFL player Herschel Walker said last Wednesday that black Americans should not receive redress for slavery during a Congressional hearing on the matter.
The virtual hearing was on House Resolution 40, sponsored by Texas Democratic MP Sheila Jackson Lee, who was supposed to set up a commission to review reparation proposals.
Walker, a pre-eminent athlete at the University of Georgia who won the Heisman Trophy in 1982 before embarking on a long-standing professional football career, said reparations could force black Americans to use genetic companies to determine payouts based on their ancestry, and claimed also that some black Americans were involved in the slave trade.
“We use black power to create white guilt,” he argued. “My approach is biblical … how can I ask my Heavenly Father to forgive me if I cannot forgive my brother? America is the greatest country in the world for me, a melting pot of many great races, many great minds who have teamed up with various ideas to make Americans the greatest country on earth. “
He added, “Many have died trying to get into America. Nobody dies trying to get out.”
Walker, a longtime friend of former President Donald Trump and spokesman for the 2020 Republican National Convention, then discussed the practicality of reparation payments.
“Reparations, where does the money come from?” He asked the subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee. “Does it come from all races other than black taxpayers? Who is black? What percentage of black do you have to be to get redress? Go to 23andMe or a DNA test to determine the percentage of blackness? Some black immigrants it wasn’t. ” t here during slavery, nor their ancestors. Some states didn’t even have slavery. “
He added, “Reparations teach separation. Slavery ended over 130 years ago. How can a father ask his son to go to prison for a crime he committed? I believe it continues to let us know that we are still African American and not just Americans. Atonement or reconciliation is outside the teaching of Jesus Christ. “
Reparations have been part of the national dialogue for years, and supporters argue that the United States has never atoned for the hard labor of slavery and the land that has been stolen from black Americans over the generations.
Author Ta-Nehisi Coates explored the idea in “The Case for Reparations,” his 2014 article for The Atlantic asking the country to grapple with its past.
“An America that asks what it owes its most vulnerable citizens is better and more humane,” he wrote. “An America that looks the other way ignores not only the sins of the past, but also the sins of the present and certain future sins. More important than any single check written to an African American, the payment of reparations would represent the maturation of America the childhood myth of his innocence into a wisdom worthy of its founders. “
The issue became a central issue for Democratic candidates when they entered the 2020 presidential contest, particularly with black Americans serving as the bedrock of the party.
After George Floyd’s assassination in Minneapolis last year, which sparked a wave of racial and social justice across the country, the issue became even more important in a summer when the Black Lives Matter and other racial justice movements peaked in society.
The Black Political Economy Review estimated that a reparations package that adequately addressed past injustices would cost approximately $ 12 trillion and give $ 254,782 to each descendant of slavery.
Democratic House Judiciary Committee chairman Jerry Nadler of New York said there is a possibility that reparations may not involve monetary payments, but argued that the proposal “provides a process that will allow a diverse group of experts and stakeholders to do so can investigate complex problems and implement recommendations. “
“The discussion about reparations is a journey where the road traveled is almost more important than the exact destination,” he added.
The White House said last week that President Joe Biden would support a study on the matter.
“He would certainly support a study on reparations,” said Jen Psaki, White House press secretary. “He understands that we don’t need a study right now to take action against systemic racism. So in the meantime he wants to take action within his own government.”