Despite his ancestor fighting on the racist-end of the Civil War, Robert E. Lee’s distant nephew feels reparations for Black people are necessary if America aims “to fix racism”.
“If people are saying they want to fix racism or fix this issue in our country, then they need to put their money where their mouth is,” says the Rev. Robert W. Lee IV.
The Civil War general’s distant nephew, recently appeared on “CNN Tonight” after the House held a hearing on reparations for slavery where Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said he didn’t think reparations “for something that happened 150 years ago for whom none of us currently living are responsible is a good idea.”
Lee disagreed with the majority leader.
“It’s going to take both people of color and white people to fix the mess that white people have made, Lee said. “I’m a white man, I’ve got a lot of privilege …. How can we use our privilege to literally put our money where our mouth is. If people are saying they want to fix racism or … fix this issue in our country, then they need to put their money where their mouth is, and that comes in the form of reparations.”
Lee called out those who don’t believe privilege exists saying that “just because you say something doesn’t exist, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.”
Vann Newkirk, a writer for The Atlantic who also appeared on the CNN segment said,
“We actually have material documented estimates of exactly how much was stolen from black people by slavery and Jim Crow.”
“These are things we can put on a ledger and say that the United States government was actually part of the party that was responsible for doing this,” he added.
Lee previously criticized President Trump for calling his Confederate general ancestor a “true great fighter and a great general.”
“Last night I was disheartened to hear Donald Trump, our president, make comments about Robert E. Lee as a great general, as an honorable man. These were far from the truth,” Lee said.
He added: “Robert E. Lee fought for the continued enslavement of black bodies. It was for state’s rights, yes, but it was for state’s rights to own slaves.”
Press play below for more on this story.
“It’s going to take both people of color and white people to fix the mess that white people have made,” says Rev. Robert W. Lee, a descendant of Gen. Robert E. Lee.“…If people…want to fix racism…they need to put their money where their mouth is…in the form of reparations” pic.twitter.com/fSLoBRyZgc— CNN Tonight (@CNNTonight) June 19, 2019