Robert Johnson, founder of Black Entertainment Television (BET) and the first black billionaire, mocked Cancel Culture and the “borderline anarchists” who topple statues and monuments, claiming that black people “laugh” at the white people engaging in such violence. Even when white liberals topple a Confederate statue, Johnson insisted, “black people don’t give a damn.”
“Look, the people who are basically tearing down statues, trying to make a statement are basically borderline anarchists, the way I look at it,” Johnson told Fox News on Wednesday. “They really have no agenda other than the idea we’re going to topple a statue.”
The first black billionaire, who has called for $14 trillion in reparations payments to descendants of slavery, argued that vandalism and attacks on statues do not help the black community.
“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 insisted.
He insisted that the rioters tearing down statues “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.'”
“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,” Johnson added. He said these attempts to purge American culture of supposedly offensive monuments and media are “tantamount to rearranging the deck chairs on a racial Titanic.”
“It absolutely means nothing,” the BET founder insisted.
“White Americans seem to think that if they just do sort of emotionally or drastic things that black people are going to say, ‘Oh my God, white people love us because they took down a statue of Stonewall Jackson.’ Frankly, black people don’t give a damn,” he quipped.
The BET founder did not even address the fact that rioters have not stopped at Confederate monuments. Cancel Culture iconoclasts have vandalized and toppled statues of Union generals along with national heroes like Christopher Columbus, George Washington, and Thomas Jefferson. They even vandalized statues of Mahatma Gandhi and the 54th Massachusetts Regiment, the first black Union volunteers.
Black people may not “give a damn” about this wanton destruction, but President Donald Trump has announced he will lay down the law to stop the vandals and statue-topplers. These “borderline anarchists” will face up to 10 years in prison if they cross state lines to destroy statues or if they target monuments maintained by the federal government.
Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.