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BET founder Robert Johnson says black people are laughing at white people tearing down statues to fight racism


'It absolutely means nothing'

Robert Johnson, founder of Black Entertainment Television (Joshua Roberts/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

As activists across the country fight for the removal of statues with alleged connections to the Confederacy, slavery, or racism in general, BET founder Robert Johnson said the actions are meaningless and that black people are laughing at the white people participating, Fox News reported.

"The people who are basically tearing down statues, trying to make a statement, are basically borderline anarchists, the way I look at it," Johnson said. "They really have no agenda beyond the idea of 'we're going to topple a statue. It's nothing 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.

"It's people having fun that they can go out and pull down a statue, and 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 a statue of a Civil War general who fought for the South,'" Johnson continued. "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've got to take off the TV shows like 'The Dukes of Hazzard.'"

Johnson is in favor of reparations for descendants of slavery, and has even proposed a $14 trillion plan, but he believes there is no value in tearing down statues as a way to combat racial inequality.

"It absolutely means nothing," Johnson said of the statue removal.

Johnson also criticized the idea of white people, particularly celebrities, apologizing simply because they're white.

"You know, that to me is the silliest expression of white privilege that exists in this country," Johnson said. "The notion that a celebrity could get on a Twitter feed and say, 'Oh, my God, I am so sorry that I am white.' I don't find any black people getting on Twitter and saying, 'Oh, I'm so sorry I'm black.' And we got the worst problems. ... My thing is: embrace being white and do the right thing."

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