Testifying to Congress against a proposal to provide reparations to descendents of slaves, NFL legend Herschel Walker cited the teaching of Jesus Christ and the impracticality of the policy.
“We use black power to create white guilt. My approach is biblical,” he said. “How can I ask my Heavenly Father to forgive me if I can’t forgive my brother?” Walker asked the lawmakers in testimony reported by Breitbart News.
Pointing out that slavery ended more than 150 years ago in the United States, he said history is not properly taught in schools.
“I never want to put any one religion down; my religion teaches togetherness. Reparations teach separation,” he told the Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties.
House Democrats want to establish a commission to study and develop reparations proposals. A bill, H.R. 40, would “examine slavery and discrimination in the colonies and the United States from 1619 to the present and recommend appropriate remedies.”
The virtual hearing was convened by Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, who claimed Americans have given “overwhelming support” to H.R. 40, which has been “comforting.”
Walker said American is the “greatest country in the world,” a “melting pot of a lot of great races, a lot of great minds that have come together with different ideas to make American the greatest country on earth.”
“Many have died trying to get into America. No one’s dying trying to get out,” he said.
Reparations are impractical, Walker insisted, asking where the money would come from.
“Does it come from all the other races except the black taxpayers?” he asked. “What percentage of black must you be to receive reparation? Do you go to 23andMe or DNA test to determine the percentage of blackness?”
He pointed out that the ancestors of some Americans came to the country long after slavery ended, and some states didn’t even have slavery.
“We as black Americans have always wanted what the Constitution stated: All men, black white and today Latino, Asian, Italian, etcetera, should be guaranteed” the rights of “life freedom and the pursuit of happiness,” he said.
Walker directly cited his mother, who is in her mid-80s.
“I do not believe in reparation,” she said. “Who is the money going to go to? Has anyone thought of paying the families who lost someone in the Civil War who fought for their freedom? Your Dad and I taught you … to provide for you and your family through a good education and hard work. If you give a man a fish, you feed him a day. If you teach him to fish, you feed him a lifetime. Reparation is only feeding you for a day.”
Walker said the struggles of “fellow football brothers of other races” was similar to ones he experienced. The key to helping people, regardless of race, he said, is a quality education and “opportunities with responsibilities.”
“Reparation is a fee or a correction for the terrible sin of slave owners, government, and others, but we punish the nonguilty party,” he said, “creating division, separation with different races.”
The proposal, he said, would emphasize blacks are African American rather than just American.
“Reparation, atonement, is outside the teaching of Jesus Christ,” he said in closing.
‘Pandering for a vote’
In October, Walker said the talk by politicians during the election season about slavery reparations amounted to “pandering.”
In an interview with Fox News host Martha MacCallum, Walker addressed Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s signing of a law that creates a new task force to look into reparations.
Newsom said in a statement: “As a nation, we can only truly thrive when every one of us has the opportunity to thrive. Our painful history of slavery has evolved into structural racism and bias built into and permeating throughout our democratic and economic institutions.”
That’s silly, said Walker.
“I’m upset about it because all they’re doing is pandering for a vote. Why are you paying African-Americans off instead of empowering African-Americans?” he said. “They don’t have an answer for what Donald Trump is saying, in trying to empower African-Americans by putting jobs in those areas, by putting better education in those areas, by going out putting small businesses, African-American owned businesses, in those areas.
“What they are trying to do now is pander for a vote,” he said.
“What about empowering you to run your own businesses? What about empowering you to become a doctor? To become a lawyer? No one thought about that,” he said.
Walker was a featured speaker at the Republican National Convention and during the Democratic National Convention, he chastised Democrats for playing the race card.
“You all have been in office for years and have done nothing for African Americans. Every four years you do this for a vote,” he said.
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