Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives are pushing HR 40, a bill calling for a commission to study and develop reparation proposals for African-Americans. Burgess Owens, an African-American, former NFL player and now a Fox News contributor, testified against this bill in June and, a few days ago, he appeared in an opposition video on Prager University.
Earlier in the year, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (Dem-TX) introduced the Commission to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African-Americans Act in the House, while presidential candidate Cory Booker (Dem-NJ) introduced it in the U.S Senate. The commission would "examine slavery and discrimination in the colonies and the United States from 1619 to the present and recommend appropriate remedies." Namely reparations.
At the June hearing, Owens enraged Democrats by saying those who feel “guilty” for racism can pay for the sins of their party, including the Ku Klux Klan and Jim Crow. CBS News reporter Grace Segers noted then that the Right Rev. Eugene Taylor Sutton, an Episcopal bishop for the diocese of Maryland, "pushed back against Owens' opinion that black Americans need to be in control of their own future, saying the idea that one only needs to pull themselves up by their bootstraps 'is a lie.'"
Owens says in the recent video that, at the core of the reparations movement, is "a distorted and demeaning view of blacks and whites." His great-great-grandfather Silas came to America in shackles on a slave ship and was sold to the Burgess plantation in South Carolina. He eventually escaped to Texas, became a landowner and founded the first black church and black elementary school in his town.
"He was a Republican, a Christian, and a pillar of his community. He was proud and industrious and taught his children to be the same. Now, because great-great-grandpa Silas was once a slave, so-called 'progressives' want to give me money," Burgess Owens says.
The reparations movement brands whites as an oppressive people too powerful for black Americans to overcome, Owens continues. "It brands blacks as hapless victims, devoid of the ability which every other culture possesses to assimilate and to progress.
"The reparations movement conveniently forgets the 150 years of legal, social, and economic progress obtained by millions of American minorities. It also minimizes the sacrifice of hundreds of thousands of white Americans and a Republican president (the video shows Abraham Lincoln at this point) who gave their lives to eradicate slavery."
"Proponents do not take into account the majority of white Americans who never owned slaves, who fought to end slavery, or who came to America long after it was ended," Owens says.
Owens further characterizes reparations as a divisive message marking African Americans as "forever broken, a people whose healing can only come through the guilt, pity, and benevolence of whites. Tragically, we now see this playing out on our college campuses. As young white Americans acknowledge their skin color as a 'privilege,' young black Americans—with no apparent shame—accept their skin color as one that automatically confers victim status."
Ironically, reparations proponents are repeating the 1960s Southern white supremacists' mentality that "skin color alone is capable of making one race superior to the other—that with no additional effort, values, or personal initiative, white Americans will succeed, while black Americans will fail. At its very core, this represents the condescending evil of racism. It certainly does not represent black America’s potential."
Among Owens' concluding remarks on the Prager U. video are that many of society’s most revered and celebrated citizens are black and that good character cannot be bought by bribery.
Owens' message isn't making him any friends on the left. Also an opponent of Black Lives Matter, he has been shouted down and called an "Uncle Tom" on college campuses.