Legendary football player Herschel Walker argued the conservative case in front of Congress against slavery reparations while stating that “atonement” will not help black people.
He made the point Wednesday that reparations could require genetic testing to calculate what amount someone was due according to what percentage of their ancestors were slaves. He also put forth the often-ignored fact that blacks and whites were both slave-traders.
Walker opposed reparations for black people for practical and moral reasons. “We use black power to create white guilt. My approach is biblical: how can I ask my Heavenly Father to forgive me if I can’t forgive my brother?” Walker informed the House Judiciary Committee subcommittee. “My religion teaches togetherness. Reparations teaches separation.”
“America is the greatest country in the world for me, a melting pot of a lot of great races, a lot of great minds that have come together with different ideas to make America the greatest country on Earth. Many have died trying to get into America. No one is dying trying to get out,” he testified.
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He continued: “Reparations, where would the money come from? Does it come from all the other races except the black taxpayers? Who is black? What percentage of black must you be to receive reparations? Do you go to 23andMe or a DNA test to determine the percentage of blackness? Some American ancestors just came to this country 80 years ago, their ancestors wasn’t even here during slavery. Some black immigrants weren’t here during slavery, nor their ancestors. Some states didn’t even have slavery.”
Walker, a strong supporter of former President Trump, was taking a stance against House Resolution 40. The resolution would create a commission to study reparations and is sponsored by Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX).
In Walker’s testimony, he referred to his mother and her opinion on reparations: “I asked my mom, who is in her mid-80s, her thoughts on reparations. Her words: I do not believe in reparations. Who is the money gonna go to? Has anyone thought about paying the families who lost someone in the Civil War, who fought for their freedom?” His mother contends that reparations are like the proverb on teaching a man to fish: “Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.”
“Reparation is only feeding you for a day. It is removing a sign ‘for whites only’ and replacing it with the sign ‘no education here,’” Walker admonished.
“Who is the guilty party? Should we start at the beginning where African Americans sold your African American ancestors into slavery? And to a slave trader who eventually sold African American ancestors to slave owners?” he said.
Walker ended off by saying: “I feel it continues to let us know we’re still African American, rather than just American. Reparation or atonement is outside the teaching of Jesus Christ.”
Democrats had their say as well. Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) decided on a dramatic quote from Charles Ogletree and stated that the end result “may not be the 21st century equivalent of 40 acres and a mule. The 21st-century equivalent, he said, was an SUV and a condo.”
Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) also noted that financial payments may not be the vehicle used for reparations.
Rep. Lee referred to Black Lives Matter and claimed that now was the time for reparations. She bitterly swiped at Republicans over presenting two black witnesses as if their opinions were dictated to them. Those two witnesses were Herschel Walker and conservative pundit Larry Elder.
“Like our last hearing, the minority has selected two African-American witnesses to speak against HR 40. That is their privilege. But we know that justice, facts, and that life that was led and continues to be led by African Americans is on our side,” she arrogantly stated.
Elder was having none of it. He believes that blacks should be seen as a “race of overcomers.”
“Despite all the problems that have been brought up in this committee about racism, about slavery, about Jim Crow, black people have overcome to the point now where only 20 percent of black people are below the federally defined level for poverty — still too high, but in 1940 that number was 87 percent and 20 years later that number had been reduced to 47 percent,” he informed Congress.
Rep. Burgess Owens (R-UT) also claimed that reparations are a form of socialism. He stated that it is “unfair and heartless to give black Americans the hope that this is a reality.”
“The reality is that black American history is not one of a hapless hopeless race oppressed by a more powerful white race. Instead, a history of millions of middle and wealthy-class black Americans throughout the early 20th century achieving the American dream,” Owens said.
The well-spoken congressman proclaimed that politicians should “give us back our history” and that “as we accept our lineage as victors, the same history will command the respect of our fellow Americans — an example of how to overcome the most overwhelming odds.”
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