June 9, 2020
The RLJ Companies
3 Bethesda Metro Center
Bethesda, MD 20814
ATTN: Mr. Robert L. Johnson
Re: Request to Amend “Reparations, A Basis Explored” Proposal
I envy you the ability to grasp the zeitgeist of an opportune business moment in time, as you did with the founding of BET and its timely sale. And more recently your “Reparations, A Basis Explored” proposal, which captures the zeitgeist of reckoning with the critical economic standing of Native Black Americans at this pivotal moment in American history.
As you know, sir, the United States needs a whipping boy (or girl) to sate its never-ceasing, racialized, domestic-terror appetites. We, her Native Black Americans (black American descendants of U.S. slavery), are the designated whipping group—native black men particularly. I use the term “Native Black Americans,” a group from which you and I proudly hail, to distinguish us from those 12 million black immigrants who voluntarily emigrate to America’s shores. Their American experience dramatically differs from that of your and my ancestors, Mr. Johnson, and, we, our forebears’ heirs. The black immigrant enjoys a higher net worth, educational attainment, and overall socio-economic standing than the Native Black American.
Because black immigrants have in no way been deliberately shut out of the American economic dream as have our native black brethren/sistren. The black immigrant arrives stateside with a clean slate, without the vestiges of accrued disadvantage1 borne by centuries of bondage, legalized second-class citizenship (Jim Crow), wealth destruction/confiscation (Tulsa et al), economic/educational discrimination, mass incarceration, and overall denial of opportunity—to say nothing of the ungodly wealth gap that haunts native black families to the point of median native black family wealth slated to reach zero (0) by 2053. Racism and COVID-19 are in fact dramatically speeding up that timeline.
Mr. Johnson, your and my people are on the cusp of economic collapse, which essentially means death to a people. We, the 30 million Native Black Americans, are the most disenfranchised, terrorized, brutalized group in American history. We—and we alone!—are desperately in need of a comprehensive reparations program to ensure our survival the rest of this century and well into the next.
We, ADOS (American Descendants of Slavery/black American descendants of U.S. slavery), ask, no, we implore, sir, that your $14 trillion reparations proposal be amended to include ONLY the 30 million Native Black Americans who are the rightful, righteous heirs of our enslaved ancestors who, without compensation, built these United States. And whose labor has provided the very framework of the country’s current net worth of $123.8+ trillion as of Q1 2014*. America’s billionaire class, this first half of 2020 alone, has added $595 billion of stock-market wealth. You and I both know that ADOS have been overwhelmingly locked out of that bounty. Hence, we, not black immigrants, creep ever closer to zero wealth.
I urge you to read the recently published book, From Here to Equality, by the brilliant economist/researcher Dr. William A. Darity Jr., the Samuel DuBois Cook Professor of Public Policy, African and African American Studies, and Economics and the director of the Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity at Duke University. The focus of Dr. Darity’s work is inequality based on race, class, and ethnicity. The book is co-authored by his equally brilliant colleague and partner, A. Kirsten Mullen, a writer, folklorist, museum consultant, and lecturer whose work focuses on race, art, history, and politics. Their seminal From Here to Equality delivers a breathtaking, comprehensive, inarguable case for reparations for America’s most neglected citizens, black American descendants of U.S. Slavery, based on decades of research.
Please don’t hesitate to consult the book and/or the co-authors directly should you have questions about their reparative plan of action for black descendants of U.S. slavery. Dr. Darity’s and Mullen’s vital research and publishings on reparations and black economic disparity over the last half-century undergirds the current ADOS movement for economic repair and political empowerment based on data (not results-less emotional argument).
ADOS is co-founded by intellectual, groundbreaking, new black media luminaries Yvette Carnell (breakingbrown.com) and Antonio Moore (tonetalks.com), both of whom deliver timely, data-filled, thought-provoking YouTube broadcasts weekly, which have captured the political imaginations and educate the minds of thousands of people both domestically and globally.
Though I can’t speak for ADOS, Mr. Johnson, for I have no standing of note in the movement, I’d like to express my appreciation for your having come forward with your proposal . . . at a time when our people are in desperate need of an economic lifeline and repair.
Again, please consider this request for amendment to your “Reparations, A Basis Explored” proposal, sir. Specifically, the removal of the term “Africans and their descendants,” modified instead to “ADOS or black American descendants of U.S. slavery,” will leave no ambiguity as to the rightful recipients.
Black immigrants who have legitimate grievances with their derivative home countries, whether African, Caribbean, and/or Latin American nations, have the option of petitioning for redress those countries which have colonized the immigrants’ native homeland or perpetrated their mistreatment. ADOS, once we are rightfully made whole by our U.S. government, would then be better able to assist/support black immigrants in their respective reparations pursuits.
I, Roy Greer II (aka Rg2), am the founder/innovator of Pamper-Her-Friday by Rg2® (pamper-her-fridaybyrg2.com) and Romance by Rg2®, a creative writing/e-commerce platform dedicated to women globally. From creative romance to political/reparations speech writing to business proposal writing to creative poetry/prose, Pamper-Her-Friday by Rg2® delivers literary creativity like no other platform in the market.
What I dream of, Mr. Johnson, is the day when my people are lifted from the shackles of poverty, despair and dispossession to the wholeness and fullness of American citizenship, for which our ancestors bled and died. All the other segments of America, all the other groups that are welcomed to and by the U.S. are automatically elevated above my people’s bottom-caste station.
Pure reparations will unleash the human potential of Native Black Americans the likes of which America has never witnessed, I’m convinced of that. It’s long past time. We’re long past due.
Your help, Mr. Johnson, will indeed help us get there.
If we in the ADOS movement can be of assistance to you, don’t hesitate. I appreciate and thank you for your time.
God’s blessings to all of us.
Roy Greer II
cc: ADOS USA
1Term coined by Yvette Carnell
*Google’s most recent data