During a congressional hearing last Wednesday, Former NFL player Herschel Walker shared his thoughts on slavery and reparations. The virtual hearing was for House Resolution 40, which is sponsored by Democratic Representative Shelia Jackson Lee of Texas. The goal is to create a commission to study reparation proposals.
Walker played college football for the University of Georgia. While there he earned consensus All-American honors 3 times before winning the Heisman Trophy in 1982. He won’t on to play professional for The New Jersey Generals in the USFL before joining the NFL via the Dallas Cowboys. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1999.
Speaking at the hearing, Walker was said that he didn’t think black people deserved reparations, and that issuing them could further divide people. He went on to call his approach “biblical”, and question why so many die to come to America but no one is “dying to get out.”
What would you do if your family member went on record at a congressional hearing speaking against reparations?— DAP/ADOS TRIBE🇺🇸 (@Black_Action) February 17, 2021
There are no words that could express the amount of shame I would feel.
This will be the legacy of Larry Elder, Herschel Walker and Burgess Owens.#HR40Hearing pic.twitter.com/reBVSuG9vX
“We use Black power to create white guilt,” he argued. “My approach is biblical…how can I ask my Heavenly Father to forgive me if I can’t forgive my brother? America is the greatest country in the world for me, a melting pot of a lot of great races, a lot of great minds that have come together with different ideas to make Americans the greatest country on Earth.”
He continued, “Reparations, where does the money come from?,” he asked the House Judiciary Committee subcommittee. “Does it come from all the other races except the Black taxpayers? Who is Black? What percentage of Black must you be to receive reparations? Do you go to 23andMe or a DNA test to determine the percentage of blackness? Some Black immigrants weren’t here during slavery, nor their ancestors. Some states didn’t even have slavery.”
“Reparations teach separation. Slavery ended over 130 years ago. How can a father ask his son to spend prison time for a crime he committed? I feel it continues to let us know we’re still African American, rather than just American. Reparation or atonement is outside the teaching of Jesus Christ.”
Noted theologian and Black Trump supporter Herschel Walker testifies to Congress that reparations is a bad idea because it’s just a “hand out” that reminds us we’re Black and because the concept of atonement is “outside the teaching of Jesus Christ.”— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) February 17, 2021
Yeah, he really said that. pic.twitter.com/vZoE8lSlra
Walker is a long time friend of former President Donald Trump and spoke at the 2020 Republican National Convention.
Reparations have gained new focus in recent years in the wake several black lives being lost due to police brutality, and the rise of the black lives matter movement and fight for racial injustice.