- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Democratic presidential hopeful Marianne Williamson on Wednesday laid out more details in her plan to pay out financial reparations for slavery in the U.S., saying a council made up of black leaders should oversee a payout of between $200 billion and $500 billion.

“When it comes to paying reparations for slavery, on an emotional, psychological and spiritual level, we cannot afford not to,” said Ms. Williamson, an author and self-help expert. “Until we do, this cycle of violence that began in the 1600s and continues to this day will continue to haunt our psyche.”

Ms. Williamson called for setting up a council made up of between 30 and 50 members who are descents of slaves who have a scholarly, cultural or political connection to the issue of reparations.

The plan dictates that the council, not the U.S. government, would determine how the money would be doled out, and that it should be “for purposes of economic and educational renewal.”

The $200 billion to $500 billion figure, an amount she had floated during last week’s presidential debate, would go toward education, infrastructure, and other projects for black communities.

“Since World War II, Germany paid $89 billion in reparations to Jewish organizations, and America should do the same after centuries of racial oppression, in large part stemming from our history with slavery,” she said. “While nothing can undo the terror of the Holocaust or the slave trade, reparations can push a new frontier in racial reconciliation in America.”

Other 2020 contenders have said they support setting up a commission to study the issue, but they have stopped short of calling for direct financial reparations for the descendants of slaves.

Ms. Williamson was the most-searched candidate during last Tuesday’s debate, according to Google Trends, but her performance has not translated to a significant bump in post-debate polling.

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