Heisman Trophy winner and NFL legend Herschel Walker testified against the Democrats’ proposal to establish a commission to study and develop reparations proposals in the United States, citing his faith and telling the lawmakers that “we use black power to create white guilt.”
The Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties convened virtually on Wednesday to discuss H.R. 40, or Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee’s (D-TX) Commission to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African Americans Act.
“This is what this hearing is about — to be able to speak to the nation and for the nation to continue its overwhelming support that it has given to H.R. 40. And that has been one of the comforting aspects of continuing to carry this legislation,” Jackson Lee said at the start of the hearing, describing it as an “active commission” designed to study and “develop reparation proposals.”
Walker testified as a witness against the proposal, citing both his faith and the impracticality of issuing reparations.
“We use black power to create white guilt. My approach is biblical. How can I ask my Heavenly Father to forgive me if I can’t forgive my brother?” Walker asked as he began his statement.
“I never want to put any one religion down; my religion teaches togetherness. Reparations teach separation,” he said, noting that slavery ended 130 years ago and adding that history is not properly taught in school.
America, Walker said, is the “greatest country in the world,” describing it as a “melting pot of a lot of great races, a lot of great minds that have come together with different ideas to make American the greatest country on earth.”
“Many have died trying to get into America. No one’s dying trying to get out,” he said before posing questions on the practicality of issuing reparations.
“Reparations — where would the money come from? Does it come from all the other races except the black taxpayers?” he asked. “What percentage of black must you be to receive reparation? Do you go to 23andMe or DNA test to determine the percentage of blackness?”
“Some American ancestors just came to their country 80 years ago,” he said, noting that their ancestors were not even in America during slavery. “Some black immigrants weren’t here during slavery, nor their ancestors. Some states didn’t even have slavery.”
“We as black Americans have always wanted what the Constitution stated: All men, black white and today Latino, Asian, Italian, etcetera, should be guaranteed” the rights of “life freedom and the pursuit of happiness.”
“Years later after slavery ended, Dr. King said, the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation was a great beacon of light but one hundred years later, we’re still not free because of segregation and discrimination. Today, I call that reparation,” Walker continued.
The former NFL star said he spoke to his mother, who is in her mid-80s, on reparations and presented her words.
Her words. “I do not believe in reparation. Who is the money going to go to? Has anyone thought of paying the families who lost someone in the Civil War who fought for their freedom? Your Dad and I taught you … to provide for you and your family through a good education and hard work. If you give a man a fish, you feed him a day. If you teach him to fish, you feed him a lifetime. Reparation is only feeding you for a day.”
She also asked, “who is the guilty party?”
“Should we start at the beginning, where African Americans sold their African American ancestors into slavery?” she asked as Walker continued to pose his mother’s questions.
Ultimately, Walker said he saw the struggles of “fellow football brothers of other races” and heard them going through the same struggles that he experienced. He brought up Ezekiel 18:20 and identified a good quality education and “opportunities with responsibilities” as a key way to help people of various races.
“Reparation is a fee or a correction for the terrible sin of slave owners, government, and others, but we punish the nonguilty party,” he said, noting that is “creating division, separation with different races.”
“I feel it continues to let us know that we are still African American rather than just American. Reparation, atonement, is outside the teaching of Jesus Christ,” he said as he closed.
H.R. 40 would specifically “examine slavery and discrimination in the colonies and the United States from 1619 to the present and recommend appropriate remedies.”
Herschel Walker also spoke against reparations last year on Fox News.