Companies that profited from the historic slave trade should consider paying reparations.
That’s the sentiment of Robert Smith, the nation’s wealthiest Black man, who has called on corporate America to step up and address inequities in society.
Smith, CEO of the private equity firm Vista Equity Partners, spoke candidly about the private sector’s role in racial justice in an interview with Reuters published Wednesday.
“I think that’s going to be a political decision that’s going to have to be made and decided upon,” he told the news outlet. “But I think corporations have to also think about, well, what is the right thing to do.”
Smith, who made headlines last year by paying off the student loans of Morehouse College’s graduating class, is currently the wealthiest Black man in the country with an estimated net worth of $5.2 billion, according to Forbes.
He suggested that corporations use their capital “to repair the communities that they are directly associated with in the industries in which they cover,” adding that while the measure has to be presented with a thoughtful approach, “action needs to be taken.”