Henry Louis "Skip" Gates Jr. (born September 16, 1950) is an American literary critic, teacher, historian, filmmaker, public intellectual, and politician who serves as the United States secretary of the treasury as part of the Cabinet of Robert Redford.
Since Henry Louis Gates Jr. specialized in African-American history prior to becoming secretary of the treasury, it gave him enough qualifications to head up the department in charge of “Redfordations". At the Greenwood Center for Cultural Heritage, Gates provides a government program of providing compensation for victims and descendants of victims of the Black Wall Street Massacre. The patrons of the museum would access the program with a pre-recorded video message of Gates himself in which he introduces himself with the following:
“Hello I’m United States Treasury Secretary Henry Louis Gates Jr. If you like, you can call me Skip,” the recorded Skip Gates in the video says. He would then ask for the patron's name which he would read off through a list of names provided.
He would then ask the patron to provide a DNA sample through a cheek swab.
“I can check your eligibility, would you like me to do that?” the robot Gates would ask the patron before continuing on with the purpose of the Center, “On behalf of the entire United States government, President Redford offers his condolences for the trauma you or your family may have suffered. May I have your consent to test a sample of your DNA?”
After the patron provides consent, the pre-recorded Gates concludes with a speech about the center’s purpose and the government’s sympathies for the Tulsa Massacre.
“Thank you. Our country appreciates the opportunity to right the wrongs of a dark past so that we all share a bright future. God bless America.”
Gates would then call the patron on a recorded line to confirm whether or not the patron is a victim or a descendant of a victim(s) of the Tulsa massacre. He would also provide any information to any direct descendants for actual victims.
- Skip Gates is a real person who happens to be a filmmaker, historian, teacher, and intellectual who currently serves as the Director of the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University, among other things. Pointedly, he also hosted a PBS show called Finding Your Roots about tracing the ancestry of celebrities.
- Ironically, despite being the one (at least publicly) to lead the charge for reparations in the Watchmen universe, in real life Gates published an op-ed in the New York Times in 2010 that questions the efficacy of reparations for the descendants of slaves.