“I can’t breathe.” Bystander videos captured the plaintive pleas of George Floyd as Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin pinned him to the ground for nearly nine minutes on May 25. Floyd later died. Protests erupted throughout the city and have since engulfed the nation. 

All four police officers involved in the deadly incident were fired the following day. On May 28, Chauvin was arrested and charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. His arrest did little to quell the firestorm.  

At last count, there have been six deaths directly linked to the protests. Each morning, Americans awake to see millions in property damage, looting and arson in major U.S. cities. On Friday, May 29, President Trump was temporarily taken to the underground bunker out of an abundance of caution. Over 50 Secret Service members have sustained injuries trying to protect the White House complex. 

Few policy solutions have been offered by politicians on either side of the aisle. Over the weekend, President Trump tweeted a desire to designate Antifa as a terror group. On Monday, June 1, he urged the nation’s governors to activate the National Guard to regain control and is considering activating the military under the Insurrection Act, a 1807 law last used to quell the 1992 Rodney King riots. He assured Americans he was “taking immediate action to stop the violence and restore security and safety in America.” 

In a CNBC “Squawk Box” interview, former billionaire Robert Johnson, founder of Black Entertainment Television, suggested $14 trillion in slavery reparations would assuage the racial unrest. 

Calling reparations the “affirmative action program of all time,” Johnson opined that a massive redistribution of wealth is superior to bureaucratically administered welfare programs and would demonstrate white American’s recognition of what the billionaire said was a massive socioeconomic disparity caused by slavery. 

The topic of reparations was addressed during earlier Democratic debates but fell out of vogue in the lead up to the South Carolina primary. 

Johnson’s suggestion made headlines but cash payments are not going to solve the current crisis.