Black Entertainment Television co-founder Robert Johnson believes there’s a lot to be desired from the Democratic Party on issues that affect the Black community, according to a recent interview. Johnson called out Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden specifically, saying his comments have been problematic, and Black Lives Matter should put forward its own candidates.
Johnson’s comments came during a recent interview with Fox News where he said that Biden’s “you ain’t black” comments are a great case for why a new party is needed.
“Vice President Biden said to an African-American… even if you think about voting for Donald Trump, you’re not black,” Johnson said during his interview.
“To have that mindset, you must have the attitude that we, black Americans, we own you. We can take you for granted… That, to me, shows you that black Americans are an appendage of a party.”
The entertainment mogul said later that Biden’s comments were “the biggest turnoff I’ve heard from a politician in a long time.”
The comments Johnson referenced were made in May when Biden said that anyone who considered voting for Donald Trump wasn’t really Black. The presidential candidate later walked back the comments, saying that they were a mistake and that he was in the moment, trying to crack jokes with his interviewer.
The network co-founder said that while he agrees with some of the actions being taken by the Black Lives Matter movement and those working on its behalf, he believes that suggestions like defunding the police are “silly.” He went so far as to call some of the rioters “borderline anarchists” thanks to their assault on statues and monuments.
Johnson said that he believes there’s a need for a political party that will stand up solely for African Americans and he doesn’t believe Democrats are that group.
“No minority group has ever achieved significant power in a two-party system when they are locked into one party and considered unreachable by the other party.”
12-year-old Tamir Rice was shot and killed on November 22, 2014 by Cleveland police after he was seen playing with a toy gun. Today would have been his 18th birthday, we will never stop saying his name. #TamirRice ❤ pic.twitter.com/UuV1Mhww07
— BET (@BET) June 25, 2020
Included in his political plan is an effort to find a way of offering $14 trillion in reparations payments from slavery to African Americans in the United States today.
Johnson is proposing an independent party that would be formed by the Black Lives Matter movement and use the original Congressional Black Caucus principles to guide it.
The issues of the BLM movement have risen to the surface once again in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd, a Black man who died while in police custody in Minneapolis, Minnesota.