Author and political activist Marianne Williamson wants the U.S. to pay up for reparations for enslavement in a huge way.
The New York Times best-selling author formally launched her campaign to run for presidential office in 2020 on Monday. By Jan. 31, she spoke to CNN’s “New Day” about her plans for America, including a call for $100 billion in reparations for the centuries that Black people were enslaved in America.
“This is not symbolic at all,” the Democrat said on the program Thursday. “At the end of the Civil War General Tecumseh Sherman promised every formerly enslaved person 40 acres and a mule. And those 40 acres and a mule would have given a formerly enslaved population an opportunity to integrate into free society.”
However, Black Codes were passed through legislation in southern states that restricted the freedom of Black Americans and ensured they were available to use as a cheap labor force.
Since then, Williamson acknowledged some progress had been made with the civil rights movement. That includes the passing of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which made racial discrimination in voting illegal.
However, 2013 saw the Supreme Court allow nine states — seven of which are in the south — to change their election laws without advance federal approval. And there has been no acknowledgment that the debt to Black Americans has not been paid.
“I believe $100 billion given to a council to apply this money to economic projects and educational projects of renewal for that population is a debt to be paid,” Williamson concluded. “Until we pay it, we won’t deal with these issues.”
Williamson, who caught the attention of Oprah Winfrey with her first hit book, “A Return to Love” and has served as the media mogul’s spiritual counselor, expounded on her plans on her campaign website.
“The legacy of that injustice lives on, with racist policies infused into our systems even to this day,” the page reads. “From employment and housing discrimination to equal access to quality education in underserved communities to police brutality/prejudice, to lack of fair lending practices, to lack of access to quality healthcare, to insecure voting “rights, America has not yet completed the task of healing our racial divide.
“For that reason, I propose a $100 billion of reparations for slavery,” the message continued. “$10 billion a year to be disbursed over a period of ten years. An esteemed council of African-American leaders would determine the educational and economic projects to which the money would be given.”