Descendant of Confederate Army General Robert E. Lee believes reparations are needed to fight racism

Rev. Robert W. Lee IV, a descendant of Confederate Army General Robert E. Lee, has expressed his belief that reparations are necessary in order to fight racism. Reverend Lee made an appearance on CNN Tonight after the House hosted a hearing on reparations for slavery. Recently, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell stirred public outrage after expressing his opinion that he didn’t think reparation was necessary. He reasons that reparations aren’t necessary 150 later, for whom none of them currently alive are responsible.

McConnell went on to say that he believes that the country is always a work in progress. However, no one alive today was responsible for the past, and he doesn’t think they should be trying to think about how to compensate for it.

Reverend Lee said that it’s going to take white people as well as people of color to fix the issues that white people have created. He added that he’s a white man who enjoys a lot of privilege. He then asked how white people could use their privilege to put their money where their mouth is. He elaborated by saying that if people in America are saying that they want to fix issues of racism, they need to put their money where their mouth is and that results in reparations.

Some people have expressed their disbelief that the concept of privilege exists. Lee has responded to this by saying that just because someone says something doesn’t exist, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

A writer for the Atlantic who also appeared on the same segment, Vann Newkirk, said that white privilege exists institutionally. Newkirk illustrated by saying that there are material documented estimates of how much has been stolen from people of color by Jim Crow and slavery.

He went on to say that there are things that can be put on a ledger and can be linked to the United States government. He said that you can say that the United States government was part of the party responsible for this.

Lee has also expressed how disheartened he felt when he heard President Donald Trump call Robert E. Lee, a “great general and an honorable man.” Lee has said that this statement is far from the truth. He finished by saying that Robert E. Lee fought for the state’s rights to own slaves.


Follow the Conversation on Twitter