Fox News host Tucker Carlson challenged Episcopal Bishop of Maryland Eugene Taylor Sutton on the issue of slavery reparations during Wednesday night’s edition of “Tucker Carlson Tonight.”
“I’m actually talking to my white brothers and sisters,” he said. “You need more than we do. You need this for your soul. You need this to be able to look black persons in the eye and say ‘I acknowledge the mistake and I want to be part of the solution to repair that damage.'”
“What does that do to your soul, to know that some of the benefit that you get from your white skin and background is not accrued to everybody?” he asked later during the hearing.
Carlson began the discussion by saying Sutton’s contention “struck” him “as the antithesis of the Christian understanding of guilt, which is that God judges each person based on his or her choices, not on the choices made by his ancestors.”
“Absolutely, but that quote, I definitely was not referring to the eternal significance of people’s souls for eternity,” said Sutton. “That was not my whole statement there. I talked about the souls of black folk and the souls of white folks, which is to say all of us have a stake in this.” (RELATED: ‘Blame Whitey Movement’ — Former ACLU Exec Slams Reparations ‘Buffoonery’)
The bishop pointed out that his diverse diocese all voted to affirm his statement and that reparations are not “a check given to all black persons.”
At which point Carlson had a suggestion for a place to start:
I’m aware of that but let me ask you this. So your diocese has about $51 million in assets. It has shrunk. There are far fewer episcopalians than there were a generation ago, as you well know and I know as one of them. So why not sell some of your properties and put that money toward reparations? If the diocese really does support this issue so much. Why not pay for it?
“This is what we are studying,” Sutton responded. “We affirmed the principle of it last month, and we will spend the next year or several years figuring out how to do that. We do know that money is involved, but that is a final step.”
Responding to Tucker’s question about how someone who “didn’t commit a crime” could “be culpable for it,” Sutton contended that “guilt” is not the issue, but rather “responsibility.”
The Fox News host said he has no problem “looking African-Americans in the eye” because he never supported slavery or Jim Crow laws and treats everyone as individuals. “I don’t bear any guilt for this, I don’t, but you seem to think I do, why?”
After Carlson later pointed out the fact that the current billions in welfare given to African-Americans “isn’t working,” Sutton referenced continued problems such as “mass incarceration” and “underfunded school systems.”
“I would like to see some of the $51 million in your diocese go toward that,” said Tucker.
To which Sutton responded: “Stay tuned.”