Spiritual advisor turned presidential candidate Marianne Williamson called for Americans to invest between $200 and $500 billion in reparations for slavery in the United States.
During the second round of presidential debates Tuesday night on CNN, Williamson — who was a longtime spiritual advisor to Oprah Winfrey — laid out her vision and reasoning behind her support for racial reparations in the United States.
The debate on reparations has taken many forms. Some candidates, including Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), support the development of a federally-funded commission to study the financial implications of slavery on black Americans. Others, like Williamson, support cash payments to black Americans to address the financial fallout from slavery and the Jim Crow era.
While O’Rourke offered vague support for a reparations bill, Williamson had already done the math on exactly how much Americans should pay to “cure” the pain of slavery that exists today.
Watch Williamson’s proposal:
“It’s not $500 billion in financial assistance. It’s $500 billion — 200 to 500 billion dollars — payment of a debt that is owed. That is what reparations is. We need some deep truth-telling when it comes. We don’t need another commission to look at [the] evidence. I appreciate what Congressman O’Rourke has said. It is time for us to simply realize that this country will not heal. All that a country is a collection of people. People heal when there’s deep truth-telling. We need to recognize when it comes to the economic gap between blacks and whites in America, it does come from a great injustice that has never been dealt with. That great injustice has had to do with the fact that there was 250 years of slavery followed by another hundred years of domestic terrorism.”
Williamson noted that, at the close of the Civil War, many newly freed black Americans requested 40 acres and a mule be distributed to each former slave as a payment for the atrocities of slavery. She added that, in today’s dollars, that would be a total investment of more than $1 trillion to be paid to black Americans.
“If you did the math today, it would be trillions of dollars, and I believe that anything less than a hundred billion dollars is an insult and I believe the 200 to 500 billion is politically feasible today because so many Americans realize there is an injustice that continues to form a toxicity underneath the surface, an emotional turbulence that only reparations will heal.”
Her statements on reparations earned one of the loudest applause of the evening.
Additionally, Williamson’s comments on the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, took Twitter by storm when she claimed that President Donald Trump was leading a “dark psychic force of the collectivized hatred” in the United States.
Watch Williamson’s comments:
All of Williamson’s remarks must have piqued the interest of the American people. She was the most-searched candidate on Google following the debate.