It could not have happened to a “nicer” guy, Black Billionaire Robert Johnson. Capitalism uses racism as one of many tools to pilfer ALL Americans. Many have inadvertently joined the upper echelons that maintain the boot on the average American’s throat. Many Progressives are attempting to mitigate the evils this institution has afflicted on many with no help from those who could.
One would have hoped that when the Plutocracy chose one of the members of the most oppressed to join the ranks, that they would remember that which was inflicted and not allow themselves to be used as stooges to continue the pilfer. That was not the case for Robert Johnson, America’s first black billionaire.
We all know that corporations make decisions solely for the benefit of the shareholders and the executive class. Any good they provide to the rank & file is solely for the purpose of ensuring they keep them happy enough to build their product or provide a service or scheme. In that light, Senator Elizabeth Warren proposed the Accountable Capitalism Act which would force a 40% employee based corporate board.
Robert Johnson allowed CNBC to use him as a stooge to object to Senator Warrens proposal. He appeared on the Network and all but called Elizabeth Warren a Marxist, this from someone who should understand how corporations disrupt social structures all over the world for ulterior motives.
After watching the piece with my head in a near state of explosion, I wrote the piece “This black capitalist, BET’s Robert L. Johnson, proves a race/class point” that really pointed out what he did.
One would think that one of the most wealthy black capitalists, Robert L. Johnson would remember that there was a time that people of color were not chosen to join that club. And yes, I said, chosen. Anyone can be a free enterprise(r) based on their desire to work, create, and innovate. Joining the upper echelons of capitalism, however, requires being chosen by the titans of finance. It is not a democratic process based solely on skills, aptitude, and best-developed product (i.e, there were many operating systems better than MS-DOS, Apple Computers are nowhere close to being the best technology, etc.). It is important that all Americans understand these realities of capitalism lest they continue to make suboptimal choices or lose self-esteem when they see less-than-the-best get footholes in the economy.
Robert L. Johnson is the founder of BET, Black Entertainment Television. This capitalist used his station to exploit black people unbeknownst to many. Just like reality T.V. exploits all Americans by creating an addictive product because of a part of our carnality whose curiosity would have us fixate on the depraved, BET was tailored to do that to black people. He should have used the platform, yes to entertain, but with a more conscious and needed public service component for his base. I love the bump and grind like everyone else but would have enjoyed a component that helped give more directions on upward mobility and navigating for success. Suffice it to say he made hundreds of millions with his exploitative process.
CNBC elicited capitalist Johnson’s opinion on Senator Warren’s new bill. He did not disappoint them. He came on and equated her bill as tantamount to Marxism. Does he not know that her bill is not all that dissimilar to what’s done in Germany? The fact is, their CEOs and executives do not make inordinate salaries and hundreds of times more than their average workers as we do here where unfettered capitalism reigns with a minimal safety net.
Irrespective of all his billions, Robert Johnson, got a taste of what the capitalism that he so fervently defends bred throughout the world, a virulent insidious form of racism. He could not even get into the Hotel that he likely could purchase outright. DailyKos’ Walter Einenkel reported the following.
Mr. Johnson could have had all of the money in the world, but to the check-in attendant at Eau Palm Beach, a five-star luxury hotel, he was just some black guy with expensive prescription sunglasses. After giving his car to the valet and his bags to hotel staff, he was asked for identification for his two-night reservation. According to Johnson, he gave them three forms of ID: an American Express card, a Florida driver’s license, and his government-issued passport. But that wasn’t enough for the hotel employee, who said he needed to take off his sunglasses. She told Johnson she couldn’t and wouldn’t check him in unless he did.
Johnson says that, when traveling internationally, it is customary to have to take ones sunglasses off, but not domestically, and not when the identification you are providing is both federal and in-state. He told the lady that she should call the police. According to WPBF, police came, but were unable to broker a “compromise,” and Johnson left.
We all know that white people can go into these five-star hotels in any state of attire and once presenting similar credentials would be treated with dignity. The claim that sunglasses had to be removed was clearly from a staffer who probably could not afford to stay at that hotel deciding to make it clear to Johnson of her privilege beyond all of his money. So even a member of the Plutocracy, a black one, suffers from the insidious racism created as a tool to maintain all aspects of capitalism.
The response from management was not apologetic but instead the standard canned answer.
Eau Palm Beach spokesman Nick Gold said the policy is for the protection of guests.
“It is standard operating procedure in the industry to ask to make sure that the person who is presenting themselves to check-in and they present identification that it does match and if they’re wearing dark glasses with a ball cap low over their face, you want to make sure that it is the same person, much like what would happen at TSA rules going through the airport,” Gold said.
Now the Black Billionaire is complaining that the system he so defends, institutions that balk when demands are made to include the working class on corporate boards, is racist. Well, Mr. Johnson, the system is racist, sexist, anti-working class and much more because everything it does is to extract from the many to give to a few. As one of the chosen from an underclass, you should know that and should not be surprised by the treatment you got, which ironically. you are complicit in ensuring remains alive.