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Billionaire Bob Johnson Calls for Action to Close Wealth Gap Between Blacks and Whites

Black billionaire Robert L. Johnson told a gathering of the Conservative Black Forum that the United States must be willing to employ “race recognition remedies” to close the enormous wealth gap between black and white families, otherwise it will jeopardize the future economic viability of the entire nation.

The forum, organized by Rep. Allen West, a black Republican from Florida, was geared toward the economic empowerment of African Americans.

Johnson, who made his fortune after he sold Black Entertainment Television to Viacom for $3 billion, used recently released statistics from the Pew Research Center in formulating his argument about the need for remedies that address racial disparity. The wealth gap between white and African American families has more than quadrupled over the course of a generation, increasing from $20,000 to $95,000, while the median wealth of white households is 20 times that of black households.

“We must admit the harsh reality of a history of institutionalized racism and economic discrimination against African Americans is the primary cause of wealth disparity between Black and white Americans,” Johnson said. “We must be willing to talk about race recognition remedies at the highest levels of government as well as between Black and white Americans.”

As an example of race recognition remedies, Johnson said tax breaks could be given to white companies for investing in minority-owned companies.

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