Marianne Williamson — From Misinterpretation to Slavery Reparations

11.22.2019 Arts & Culture
Johanie Cools
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Out of all the Democratic 2020 candidates, Marianne Williamson is certainly unique. In her own words, she’s done all that can be done, and she’s “a bitch for God.” She has a long interesting history that dates back to her days as a night club swinger turned spiritual guru to being the architect of Project Angel Food, a nonprofit agency that cooks and delivers healthy, delicious meals and offers nutrition counseling — all free of charge — to people debilitated by serious illnesses.

Her untraceable accent, hippy vibe, and stirring critiques of the US government made her the most tweeted candidate after she appeared on the 2020 Democratic debates in June. Her sentiments of love, kindness, and morality strike a chord in people who listen to her, which explains why she draws a crowd whenever she speaks and why three of her books have been on national best-seller lists. 

Along with her charming demeanor, Williamson is the only candidate willing to vocalize the obvious safety concerns with vaccines, over prescription of mental illness medications, and her overall disdain with our current public policy. In a recent interview on the Huffington Post she mentions, “When I’m president, we will have far more independent research having to do with the amount of vaccines, having to do with bundling, and none of that will be paid by Big Pharma.”

Her major issues with the government include insidious racism, the economy, and disability justice — and her 2020 campaign promises to address each of these.

During one Democratic debate, Williamson said she believes reparations are in order due to the racist policies in our criminal justice and economic systems. Slavery, according to Williamson, is responsible for the economic disparity between White and Black Americans. The wage gap between the two groups is the worst it’s been in nearly 40 years, though many Americans are under the false impression that we’ve made more progress than there is.

Williamson recognizes that the harm of slavery didn’t end when slavery was abolished. There are still many policies that are targeted against Black people, like employment and housing discrimination, police brutality/prejudice, and a lack of fair lending practices. Her solution to this is Racial Reconciliation & Healing where she proposes a $200-$500 billion slavery reparation plan with the money being disbursed over a period of 20 years “by an esteemed council of African-American leaders who would determine the educational and economic projects to which the money would be given.”

She also plans to reconcile and bring justice to Native Americans, who grapple with the trauma they and their ancestors have (and still) experience in this country. In order to address this, Williamson says her administration will return dominant control of the sacred Black Hills of South Dakota that were promised by the Sioux Treaty of 1868 to the Sioux (Lakota/Dakota/Nakota) Nation. She’d support in halting construction of the Keystone and Bakken pipelines and would enforce protections of tribal sovereignty. Tribal nations are in desperate need of infrastructure, education, and economic development that are severely underfunded and under-resourced.

Another major problem Williamson has with the US government is that it “has abandoned its primary function to secure the (God-given) right of every citizen to ‘life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.’” She points the blame to the enmeshment of government and big corporations like Big Pharma, the oil industry, and tech corporations who are able to buy elections and lobby for laws that benefit them. (President Trump has a stunning record of corruption that benefits him, his family, and his appointed officials, btw.)

Williamson aims to fight this by promoting citizen engagement. In a CNN Town Hall, Williamson stated, “Those of us who love need to become convicted and organized.” This idea is reflected in her plan to save our Democracy, of which three of its seven-step plan include: 1) a state-by-state rejection of politicized gerrymandering, 2) elimination of unfounded restrictions on eligible voters, and 3) establish an election day as a national holiday, and guarantee enough time and polling places to allow for easy access to voting.

Despite her unconventional beliefs and qualifications for the presidency, Williamson makes excellent points. (And according to Politico, many fellow 2020 candidates share at least some of her positions.) Because of these important topics, it’s imperative that we, as Americans, focus on and advocate for them no matter who is running for office. We need to strategize better than those who hate.

Johanie Cools is a blogger, writer, book editor, and aspiring author. Follow her on Twitter at @jmartdotcom or on Medium at @jmcools.

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