Reparations for Slavery: The Role of Repentance in Politics

Reparations for Slavery: The Role of Repentance in Politics

– Hi everyone. – [Audience] Hello. – Hello, welcome to
Harvard Divinity School. We are so thrilled to have United States presidential candidate
Marianne Williamson here– (audience applauding) Here to talk about
reparations for slavery. It is a privilege to have you
here again with us, Marianne. And it is the greatest honor
to open for my heroine. My name is Kassi Underwood. I’m a fourth year Masters
of Divinity student and Harvard’s Meditation Advisor. I am also a student of
“A Course in Miracles”, which is how I was first introduced to Marianne Williamson’s work. For 35 years, she has been a
leading teacher of this text. “A Course in Miracles”
is a metaphysical text that transforms your thinking from a thought system based on fear to a thought system based on love. It consists of three books; A theological text, a workbook for students with 365 lessons, one for each day of the year, and a manual for teachers. I first met Marianne during my first year at Harvard Divinity School
when she came to speak in 2015. I was fairly new to “A Course
in Miracles” at the time and had been on less than 135
for approximately six months. (audience laughing) After her lecture, I wanted to ask her what I thought was a
very important question: What do I need to do in order
to disrupt the status quo? I thought this question was
so complex and so complicated that it would take her
at least 10 minutes, but maybe even a lunch to answer. So just to be considerate
to all the other people waiting in line to speak with her, I waited to be the last person in line. An hour later, I said, “Marianne, how do I
disrupt the status quo?” And Marianne said, “Are you a student of
‘A Course in Miracles’?” And I said, “Totally. “I’ve been on less than
135 for about six months.” And she said, “Keep doing it.” And I said, “That’s it,
just keep doing it?” And she said, “Keep doing it.” So I went home and I was
like, “Less than 136.” I finished all 365
lessons in the workbook, and now the course is my
daily spiritual practice. I went on to write my master’s thesis on “A Course in Miracles”, and I argue that human beings cannot build a revolutionary future in our
personal lives or in humanity on a foundation of anxiety
and limiting beliefs. So I have come tonight
to talk to you about conditioning our minds for the revolution. 14 years ago, I was a college
student double majoring in bad relationship decisions and warm PBR. (audience laughing) Who wasn’t? I hit rock bottom and got sober at age 20, and I believe that the choice to get sober was my first true act of
defiance against the status quo, deciding not to be numb. But then I had to learn
how to manage my mind. In the 12-step program, they say the problem of the alcoholic centers in the mind. But in order to quit drinking,
in order to heal the mind, you have to get your
spiritual house in order. Getting sober is not
about avoiding the bars, or RSVP’ing no to every wedding
or party or family holiday, getting sober is about
conditioning yourself to go anywhere alcohol is
served with peace and ease. In order to do that, you
don’t work on getting sober, you condition yourself for sobriety. You work on your spiritual condition, and I’ve been doing that for 14 years. You face yourself over and over again, looking at the truth of
self-centered actions, making amends to those you’ve harmed, and by doing this work, you
are building a relationship with a power greater than yourself, and I would argue becoming a
power greater than yourself. I understand spirituality
is having a discipline in moral psychology in
order to create space for divinely inspired thoughts to come in. For me, the daily spiritual practice is how the revolution begins. And the status quo does not like this. For centuries, women with spiritual power, personal spiritual power,
have posed a major threat to the status quo. Here are a few examples of women who have
threatened the status quo with their divinely inspired
spiritual practices; Mary Magdalene, shamans in the East, European and American
witches, and midwives. Here at HDS, I have learned
that Mary Magdalene, who is commonly
misinterpreted as a sex worker in the New Testament had a
gospel with her name on it that was not included in the canon. So we have John, Luke, Mark and Matthew, and evidence to suggest that Mary was a serious disciple of Jesus, perhaps even his most beloved disciple, but there’s no gospel
of Mary in the canon, even though there’s enough material on it that we spent a semester
studying a gospel of Mary with Professor Karen King. Predominantly, female
shamans in the Philippines were maligned, discredited, nearly erased by organized religions and
forces of colonization, patriarchy and elite feminism as I learned in a class
called Women and Shamanisms taught by research associate Grace Nono. An estimated 50 to 100,000 wise women, also known as witches, were burned in early modern Europe. And here in the United
States in the early 1800s, the medical establishment
marshaled the forces of racism and sexism, and
I would argue classism, in a calculated smear campaign
to discredit midwives. We still see remnants of
these acts of trivializing and discrediting female visionaries and leaving them out of the canon today. One example to consider is when you turn on mainstream news stations, which presidential candidates
are included in the list? And who is left out? Professor Karen King
teaches three questions that I think are relevant here: What work does that do? For whom? And with what effects? The answer to those questions
are for you to consider. The common denominator
among the gospel of Mary, the shamans, the witches, and the midwives is that women were teaching
that the power of healing and of liberation is within us, not the established institution, that we each have a voice within us, what “A Course in Miracles”
calls the internal teacher that gives us unexpected
direction and insight. I believe it’s time we step it up with our spiritual practices. Just one minute of meditation a day can condition your mind for insight. And I think we should have
good meditation hygiene, personally, so sit up
straight when you meditate, no lying down in bed, and please, no meditating while driving. (audience laughing) Meditate in the morning,
not just the evening. Meditate before you meet
the events of the day. And pray in the mornings. Ask that your thoughts be
placed on a higher plane. “A Course in Miracles” suggests asking what would you have me do? Where would you have me go? What would you have me say, and to whom? And I think we have to go even deeper. I believe the revolution requires us to take three metaphysical steps; Exposing our character,
our defects of character, our unforgiveness, our judgments, our self-pity, our dishonesty, allowing these defects to be transformed in a light of forgiveness, and turning our minds over
completely to the light. If all of this sounds
esoteric and kooky, fear not. “A Course in Miracles” contains exercises that involve looking at our
unforgiveness and our judgments. The spiritual life is not a theory, it is a daily discipline
like brushing your teeth. And nobody can do the work for you. You must train your mind
out of the status quo. White women in particular are susceptible to being instruments of the status quo because we have benefited from it. We have benefited from systemic and institutional racism and colonization. I learned in Women and Shamanisms that we see all these white women going to one indigenous ceremony,
hang up a shingle, and calling themselves shamans because we don’t know our own history. We need to learn the damage
that our ancestors have done. We need to trace and
understand our own lineages. And we need to condition ourselves to have the spiritual
fortitude to sit in meditation and prayer and face the
truth about ourselves. We have blind spots and I believe we need to learn what they are, we need to listen to women of color. A big learning experience for
me at Harvard Divinity School was taking a class taught
by Professor Cheryl Giles called Talk About It: How Race Matters. Before that class, I
admit, I had been having superficial conversations
about race and racism, and I realized I needed to change my whole way of thinking and living. White women especially
ought to use these tools to face themselves. It’s my job to look at
the hidden parts of ego that are motivated to
hold on to privilege, the resentments that I hold about not having my feelings centered in conversations about racism, the defensiveness I have
felt toward people of color when my ignorance is identified. This work is about being sober people, this work is about the choice
to stop being numb anymore and that includes numbness
to our participation in white supremacy. Part of spiritual work
is hearing hard truths and learning how to sit with them, and absorb them so that we
can be spurred into action. If we deflect the truth, we deflect love, and we deflect the revolution of love that we need right now. So last year, I became pregnant, and being knee-deep in my
resistance to the status quo, I decided to have a home
birth, which meant no epidural. (audience murmuring)
Yeah. (audience laughing) I see the interventions
being done at birth, the non-medically necessary
interventions done at birth as an extension of the
same patriarchal forces that leverage sexism
and racism in midwifery. So I researched epidurals
and the toxic ingredients that they contain and their
effects on the birthing process, and what I learned is being numb makes it harder to give birth. Part of the benefit of home birth is that you don’t have to actively resist the well-meaning hospital
staff when they come at you with all of their interventions that quite often aren’t necessary. You can just focus on giving birth, focus on that internal revolution, and when you decide to give
birth without an epidural, you don’t wing it, you train yourself. So I used my spiritual tools, I examined my fears about birth on paper, I prayed and I meditated. And I realized something,
it didn’t work for me just to picture the other,
like the happy things, like giving birth on a
cloud of cotton candy. I really had to picture
everything going wrong and still being okay. So labor begins and I’m
doing my thing at home, and I’m in excruciating pain, and I’m hanging out in the living room, and at 30 hours into the labor process, we found out that my son
had lost weight in the womb. So my husband turned to me and said, “Should we just go to the hospital?” And I said, “Yes, take
me to the hospital.” And this is where my
training really came in. All of the daily meditation
and all the daily prayer and allowing myself to be uncomfortable while knowing I would still be okay, listening to that internal guidance. I knew that I had to be centered while giving birth in the
depths of the institution. I knew I was going to have
to have the same conversation over and over again; No epidural, no C-section,
no inducement, no IV, the list goes on and on. And I would also have to
remain completely calm because I was giving birth. So I went into a primal state
of meditation and prayer, and I could do that because
I’ve been practicing every day. Fear and anxiety did not get to take over, my spiritual practice took
over when it was showtime. And in this country
right now, it’s showtime. I moved into the executive state, I pointed at the nurse and I said, “You, regulate the water temperature.” (audience laughing) I pointed at my husband and
said, “You, hold my hand.” (audience laughing) I pointed at my mother and said, “You, leave the room if you’re
gonna talk the whole time.” (audience laughing) Around 11:30 p.m., the nurse told me that she had lost my baby’s heartbeat, and everybody flipped out. Nurses were running around, somebody was calling the
NICU, and at one point, I looked up and there
were eight hospital staff surrounding me, but I
had trained for this. I could not get wrapped up in the drama. In that moment, I knew that I had the most power in the room. It wouldn’t help if I started picturing the most disastrous outcome. My job was to stay with
my spiritual practice, keep calm and give birth. 45 minutes later, my son was born, and let out his first little squeal, and today, he’s a healthy little boy who just learned how to walk. (audience applauding) We are being conditioned
and told what to think and how to think about it at all times. We are being conditioned by
the information we are given or not given, by the stories
we are told and not told, by religion, by media,
by the education system, by our families’ beliefs in old sayings, by relationship dynamics and social norms. It is a constant deluge
of thoughts and beliefs that are not our own. We are drunk on all this conditioning, and I believe it’s time we get sober. I am here to tell you we can’t wing it, we have a daily reprieve
from the status quo. So if you wake up and
you check your cell phone before you’ve meditated in the morning, you’ve just been had. If you find yourself
festering with resentment and are not praying for
the person or people with whom you are angry,
that is status quo thinking, and you’ve just been had. And if you accept
information being fed to you without questioning what
work it is doing, for whom, and to what effects, you’ve just been had. If we’re prepared, we can do it, we can get sober from status quo thinking. We can dismantle the patriarchy
and the white supremacy, we can give birth to this revolution that I believe Marianne
Williamson is leading. If we’re not prepared,
you’re gonna want to be numb. So I am going to tell you what
Marianne Williamson told me: Whatever you’re doing
to condition yourself for the revolution, keep doing it. Thank you. (audience applauding) So as I shared, Marianne
Williamson has been a force in my life. I am so grateful that she is here with us at Harvard Divinity School. What a privilege to
have you back, Marianne. Marianne Williamson is an
internationally acclaimed lecturer activist and author of four number one New York Times bestselling books. She has been one of America’s
most well-known public voices for more than three decades. Seven of her 12 published books have been New York Times bestsellers. And Marianne has been a popular
guest on television programs such as Oprah, Good Morning
America, and Bill Maher. A quote from the mega
bestseller “A Return to Love”, “Our deepest fear is not
that we are inadequate. “Our deepest fear is that we
are powerful beyond measure.” It’s considered an anthem for a contemporary generation of seekers. Marianne’s other books include “The Law of Divine Compensation”, “The Age of Miracles”, “Everyday Grace”, “A
Woman’s Worth”, “Illuminata” “Healing the Soul of America”, “A Course in Weight Loss”, “The Gift of Change”, “Enchanted Love”, “A Year of Miracles”,
and “Tears to Triumph: “The Spiritual Journey from
Suffering to Enlightenment”. Her newest book “A Politics of Love: “Handbook for a New American Revolution” will be published in April. Marianne is a native of Houston, Texas. In 1989, she founded Project Angel Food, a Meals on Wheels program that serves home-bound people with AIDS
in the Los Angeles area. To date, Project Angel Food has served over 11 million meals. Marianne also co-founded
the Peace Alliance. On November 15th, 2008,
Marianne formed a committee to explore the possibility of seeking the Democratic presidential
nomination in 2020. On January 28th, 2019, Marianne announced that she is running for
President of the United States. Please help me welcome
Marianne Williamson. (audience applauding) – Thank you, thank you. Thank you, thank you,
thank you so much Dean, it’s an honor to be here
at Harvard Divinity School. Thank you so much for having me back. And Kassi Underwood, that
was a wonderful talk, it was an honor to hear you. I thought it was just fabulous,
there was so much there, thank you so much, that was
a beautiful talk, thank you. I’d like to talk to you tonight about the role of repentance
in national politics. Kassi was talking about getting sober, she was talking about the
kinds of internal changes that are necessary in
order to change our lives. And all that a nation is
is a group of individuals. So the same psychological and spiritual and emotional processes and dynamics that prevail within the
journey of one individual prevail within the journey of a nation. And what we come to
understand as individuals is that if you really
want your life to change, you can’t just tweak
things on the outside. Now when our country was founded, our founders thought of themselves, they wanted to be the Newtons of politics because they were products
of the Enlightenment, and the Enlightenment
was an important phase in world history, the
Enlightenment which overthrew the mystification of the early church and posited that we didn’t
need church dogma and doctrine to tell us what to do and who to be, but rather that we could be individuals with a capacity for reason. But what civilization, Western
civilization has gone through is what many people in our own
spiritual lives go through, and that’s when you throw
out the religious dogma and the religious doctrine
that you might have felt had simply imposed itself
upon your thinking, but then later come to realize
that you were throwing away the baby with the bathwater. And so what has happened
in our civilization is that while it was
certainly a step forward to throw off the shackles of
an overly mystified religion, which those early religious forces were, what happened by the
20th century, of course, starting with the Industrial Revolution at the end of the 19th was
that we became so mesmerized by things of the outer
world that our mesmerization with things of the external plane became another kind of shackle. And we had actually thrown off not just the over-mystification of religious dogma, but we had sacrificed a deeper connection with our own souls. Now the science that became so popular during the 20th century aligned itself with this kind of mechanistic
Newtonian science, but by the end of the 20th century, some new changes began to occur, and those new changes
had to do in large part with quantum physics. It’s interesting because Einstein said, “The more I know about physics, “the more I want to
know about metaphysics.” And as we enter the 21st century, we are entering a period
of the new enlightenment. And the new enlightenment
is one in which we realize that in the name of, in the words of a British
physicist named James Jeans, it turns out that the world
is not one big machine, so much as it is one big thought. There is a Scottish painter, there was a Scottish painter
named Edward Burne-Jones who used to paint these
extraordinarily huge angels, and I always loved these. When I was in college,
I used to have posters of his angels on my wall. Years later I was walking down
the street in New York City and I saw that at the Metropolitan Museum, there was a whole exhibit
of his angel paintings. And I was very excited and I went in and I did that thing where
you put on the headphones and you get to hear more than you would have known otherwise. And unbeknownst to me, he
had painted these angels because he was part of the philosophical and artistic resistance both in England and in the United States
against a resistance to the, what was happening with
the industrialization of Western society as they
feared that industrialization would take us too far away
from our spiritual lives. And he actually said, “Every
time they build a machine, “I will paint an angel.” (audience laughing) By the beginning of the 21st century, many of us have come to understand that something became deeply
unbalanced in the 20th century. We became so mesmerized by the outer world that we became unbalanced,
and in too many ways, lost contact with our souls. And we came to understand that, just as it says in the
“Course in Miracles”, religion and psychotherapy
are at their peak, the same thing, religious principle in terms of universal spiritual themes is not about doctrine
and it’s not about dogma, it’s about the things that
Kassi was talking about, it’s about the laws of consciousness. The real laws of consciousness
aren’t a matter of opinion. Books that really deal
with deep spiritual truths aren’t really trying to
persuade anyone of anything, they’re written more with a tone of just thought you might like to know because how consciousness
operates is inalterable truth. There are inalterable rules
of external phenomenon, and there are inalterable
rules of internal phenomenon. If I drop this book, I know that it’s going
to fall on the table. You won’t say about me, “She’s so faithful that she knew that.” It’s not that I’m faithful
in the law of gravity, I just know that there is a law and that if I drop the book,
it will land on the table. Same with the laws of consciousness, and one of those laws is
the law of cause and effect, it’s simply an inalterable law. Now one of the notions,
one of the universal themes at the heart of all the great religious and spiritual teachings is
some version of the idea that the universe is
self-organizing and self-correcting. Now, you see this in the
way the body operates. The cells know what to do, the cells follow a kind
of natural intelligence by which they’re assigned
to work with other cells, to collaborate with other cells in order to serve the healthy functioning of the organ and the organism
of which they’re part. Every once in a while, as
we know, a cell goes insane, and it disconnects from
that natural intelligence, disconnects from its collaboration, from its collaborative
function with other cells and goes off to do its own thing. That is cancer, that is
a malignancy in the body, and it is also a malignancy
in consciousness. The human race has been infected by a malignant consciousness
which says, “It’s all about me. “I’m not here just to serve
the healthy functioning “of the pancreas, I’m
not here to just serve “the healthy functioning of the lungs, “I’m not here to serve the
healthy functioning of the whole, “I’m here to do my own thing.” That is a diseased thought. Separation from
collaboration with the other is a diseased thought. But the body also has an immune system, so nature does know
how to organize itself, but it also knows how to repair itself. And the repair work of
the body is mirrored in the repair work of consciousness. And the repair work of
consciousness is where when we recognize that our
thoughts have been mistaken, we have the capacity to rethink, repulse, “Repent, for the kingdom
of heaven is at hand.” In all great religious systems, there is a version of the atonement. In Catholicism, when
Catholics go to confession, in Judaism, the holiest day of the year is the Day of Atonement, or Yom Kippur. Kassi was talking about sobriety. In recovery, in the 12-steps
of Alcoholics Anonymous, it is a very central part of recovery, the notion that we must take
a serious moral inventory, we must be brutally honest with ourselves, we must atone for our mistakes
and we must make amends. Now when we do that, it’s kind of like a cosmic reset button. The idea is that at heart, we are all perfect creations of God, but living on this
planet, we get confused. Living on this planet, we are
lured into a thought system, as Kassi was saying, based
more on fear than on love. It is the status quo of this planet. And that’s why a spiritual journey, the journey of enlightenment
is the unlearning of the thinking of fear
and the acceptance instead of love into your heart. However, the law of
cause and effect is such, karma it’s called in the East, that whatever you think is going
to take form on some level, whatever you think will take form, and whatever you think and
do will have a consequence. So the way to affect the consequences is to rethink the thought that
produced that consequence. If you only try to change
things on the level of effect, it’s like going up to a
screen in a movie, saying, “I don’t like the plot,
so if I change something, “manipulate the screen
somehow, it will be different.” The atonement takes more
than just manipulating the level of effect because all effects will ultimately result from
the thoughts that produce them. Atonement is much deeper than that. Atonement is where we
must come to understand, to recognize and acknowledge the error. It is where we must, as they
say in recovery not only atone, but make amends where
possible and appropriate. I’d like to read to you from a national day of fasting
and prayer proclamation written by Abraham Lincoln
on March 30th, 1863. He said, “We have been
preserved these many years “in peace and prosperity. “We have grown in
numbers, wealth and power “as no other nation has ever grown, “but we have forgotten God. “We have forgotten the gracious hand “which preserved us in peace “and multiplied and enriched
and strengthened us. “And we have vainly imagined, “in the deceitfulness of our hearts, “that all of these blessings were produced “by some superior wisdom of our own. “Intoxicated with unbroken success, “we have become too self-sufficient
to feel the necessity “of redeeming and preserving grace, “too proud to pray to
the God that made us.” And then he went on, “It behooves us then “to humble ourselves
before the offended power, “to confess our national sins, “and to pray for clemency and forgiveness. “It is the duty of
nations as well as of men “to confess their sins and
transgressions in humble sorrow, “yet with assured hope
that genuine repentance “will lead to mercy and pardon.” There was no doubt much
was written by Lincoln and done by Lincoln to make it very clear that he recognized the Civil War as a great shedding of
blood that was a consequence of a great American sin, but when Lincoln signed the
Emancipation Proclamation, and as well as the 13th Amendment, these were, well, extremely significant. They were external remedies, and the stroke of a presidential signature and the passage of a
constitutional amendment could abolish a particular
institutional evil. But of course, those external remedies could not abolish racism. And racism, in many ways,
burrowed even more deeply, if one can even imagine, even more deeply into the consciousness of many southerners after the Civil War. Now, I don’t believe that the
average American is racist, that’s not my sense or my experience, but it is my sense and experience
that the average American is deeply undereducated and
not so much misinformed, under-informed about the history of race in the United States
particularly since the Civil War. This is not to minimize the
progress that has been made, the sacrifices that have been made, the struggles or even the
successes of any of our ancestors, black or white, but it is to
say that healing is a journey, it is a process, and
sometimes we might think more has been achieved
than on certain levels has yet been achieved. At the end of the Civil War,
I think we would all agree that if you have kicked
someone to the ground, you have a moral responsibility to do more than to just stop kicking. You have a moral
responsibility to also say, “Here, let me help you get back up.” Now I feel strongly that in
order for us to transform and heal our country, we
need an integrative politics, just like there was a
transformation in our thoughts about medicine and physical healing when we opened up to an
integrative paradigm, realizing that there’s more to healing than just external allopathic measures; There are also psychological and emotional and spiritual dimensions
of healing the body. There are also emotional and psychological and spiritual dimensions to
healing the body politic. We are all immune cells,
and so many things that have happened that are
challenging to say the least in our country over the last few years can be likened to opportunistic infections that could not have taken hold of us, or certainly not as easily as they appear to have taken hold of us had we not become weakened immune cells. In order for us to become the immune cells that we need to be so that
our body politic can repair the way the body repairs when
the immune system is healthy, we must be activated on
spiritual and psychological and emotional levels
before the kind of activism that is necessary will have
the kind of fundamental effect in changing and altering the status quo. Now at the end of the Civil
War, there were, historians say, anywhere from four to five million slaves. Now remember, I talked about how we needed a whole person politics, so when I say we need a
whole person politics, I’m asking that you hear what I’m saying with the wholeness of yourself
because politics is usually a conversation that is so
disconnected from emotion, so disconnected from heart, so disconnected from
our deeper human reality that given that, no
wonder it became so easy for that political system to
separate us from our wisdom, to separate us from our heart, to separate us in time
from our common sense and we must return to those deeper oceans, those deeper dimensions within ourselves if we are going to heal our country now. Slavery started in the
United States in the 1600s. Theoretically, at the beginning, not just theoretically,
historically, it is believed that about 400,000 were originally
brought over from Africa. The slave trade began to really
rev up in the early 1800s with the introduction
of the cotton industry, and as I said, by the time
the slaves were emancipated, anywhere from four to five
million slaves existed on this planet. Now as Martin Luther King
would say years later, it’s not just an issue
of that they were freed, what were they freed to? This former slave population was promised by General Tecumseh Sherman
for every slave family of four, they were to be given 40 acres and a mule. Now 40 acres and a mule,
it’s almost like this saying, “Oh, 40 acres and a mule.” Think for a moment please
what 40 acres and a mule would have meant. One thing about slaves, they
certainly had a skill set, all of them because they
had been forced laborers. Now you are freed, but
you have to make a living, you have to be able to live, so think what that 40 acres
and a mule would have meant. Now this is where the under education of the average American begins. At the end of the Civil War in 1865, federal troops were stationed in the south to ensure that slavery
would not be reinstituted as an institution, and they
remained there until 1877. During that time, interesting, many blacks, former slaves
included were elected to roles in politics both locally and
on a state level and federally. However, think now with
psychological perspicacity, the south did not give up slavery because they became wise one day; They gave up slavery
because they lost the war. So think about the cold dehumanization that must exist inside your
heart to even own a slave. Now add to that layers
of revenge and hatred even beyond anything you had known before. So the main emotional
tone after the Civil War was a lot of resentment
on the part of northerners for what they had had to
sacrifice to fight the war, and resentment on the part of southerners that they had lost it. So in many ways, the
South just held its breath until the federal troops
left, and at that point, the revenge and the hatred
became enacted in full force. The southern legislatures
passed what were called black code laws, and the
black code laws were to ensure subpar economic and social
and political opportunities for the former slave population
and their descendants. Ku Klux Klan, John Birch
Society, spate of lynchings where any black would be hanged, whites who supported them hanged. Now follow this timeline,
the war is over in 1865, the federal troops left in 1877, then everything I just mentioned comes to full force and fruition by 1900 so that by the beginning
of the 20th century, full-on institutionalized white supremacy and segregation now existed
firmly in the American south. None of this was fundamentally
challenged or altered until Martin Luther King in the 1960s. So you have two and a half centuries of the violence of slavery followed by another 100 years of violence
perpetrated against blacks. It was not the violence of slavery, but it’s certainly, it’s
certainly social violence and economic violence
and political violence. With the passage of the
civil rights legislation, you have two major pieces
of civil rights legislation in the middle of the 1960s; First, the Civil Rights Act, and the next year in 1965,
the Voting Rights Act. So in 1965, the Civil
Rights Act dismantled the external forms of segregation
that existed in the south and elsewhere in the
country until that time, and then the next year,
the Voting Rights to ensure that blacks could have full
participation legally and freely in voting in the United States. After that, there was a
period when Richard Nixon was elected president in 1968. He had a domestic adviser
who later became a senator in New York named Daniel Patrick Moynihan. And Daniel Patrick Moynihan said to Nixon, “Enough with the tumult of the 60s, “the country needs to calm down.” And he told Nixon that that should be, in terms of race relations
in the United States, after the turbulence of
the civil rights movement and so forth that that should
be followed by a period of what he termed benign neglect. So that meant, “We’re not
gonna actively try to hurt you, “that’s kind of not legal anymore, “but we’re not going to
try to help you either.” And so just as Martin
Luther King would point out so eloquently and in so many ways, although the freedom to blacks and to former slave population
and their descendants was in many ways achieved,
and as I said, I’m not, this is not to minimize
the extraordinary progress, the extraordinary
progress that was achieved in many of the ways that
I’ve just mentioned, number one, that doesn’t mean
the whole job was completed, and it is the job of our generation to recognize all the ways
we’re sliding backwards. In 2013, the John Roberts-led, obviously corporatist Supreme Court began chipping away at
the Voting Rights Act. And Ruth Bader Ginsburg
in her dissent said, she likened it to being in a rainstorm, but you’re not getting wet
because the umbrella’s working. So she said, “So now we’re
gonna take down the umbrella “because we’re not getting wet.” And she said, “We will
certainly get wet again “once you take down the umbrella”, and that’s exactly what
happened because as soon as they began chipping away
at the Voting Rights Act, behold, all these voter
suppression efforts that are active throughout
the country obviously aimed at people of color and
disenfranchised communities. That means we’re sliding backwards. Mass incarceration means
we’re sliding backwards. Obvious racial disparity
in our criminal sentencing and our criminal justice
system obviously means we’re sliding backwards. Now as Abraham Lincoln said, we need to confess our national sins, we need to look at what
in recovery is called our character defects. America has two main character defects. One has been with us from the beginning. One actually is relatively new, it’s really only become
this festering wound since the end of World War II. One is racism, and one is militarism. Now with racism, racism is inherent in this profoundly tragic dichotomy, this ironic dichotomy, which
is in our cultural DNA. On one hand in 1776, the
most extraordinary principles were infused into the founding
documents of our country, the Declaration of
Independence, repudiating, overthrowing the status quo
of aristocracy at that time saying that this country would not belong to just a few people who
were entitled to land, to education, to wealth and so forth, but rather that in this country, all men would be seen as created equal, that all men would be seen
to have been given by God inalienable rights of life and of liberty and the pursuit of happiness. 41 of the men who signed that document were themselves slave owners. This is baked into the cake, this is the national tension
that has been with us from the beginning as
generation after generation has been filled both by
those whose hearts are ablaze with the possibilities inherent
in a society dedicated to the equality of opportunity, and also those whose
basic attitude has been, “No, we will not be doing that.” But the historical narrative of America is that we tend to get
it right ultimately. That is why slavery was
followed by abolition. And even the genocide
and cultural annihilation of Native Americans has
been followed even now by a rising tide of consciousness, by people standing at Standing Rock, by a conversation about
giving back the Black Hills of South Dakota to the Sioux
as they were promised in 1863, in a spate of lawsuits by which treaties that were usually not even
negotiated fairly to begin with were then broken by the
United States government and there are more and more people during the Obama Administration. a suit that was settled for
$83 million, and so forth. The oppression of women
was ultimately followed by two major waves of feminism
and the suffragette movement, and of course, as we’ve already discussed, institutionalized white supremacy and segregation in the American south was followed by the civil rights movement. It was one generation’s
job to abolish slavery, it is our generation’s
job to abolish racism. We, it is our time in our society, not just on the issue of race, but on the issue of many things to look at our deep character defects, to look at the places
where we need to atone. In my candidacy, I talk about the fact that millions of American
children live in chronic trauma. I talk about the fact
that we spend so many more of our resources preparing
for war than we do actively waging peace both
domestically and internationally. But the issue of race continues
to be this festering sore and will be until we address
more than the external symptoms of this character defect, but also address the deeper areas of moral and spiritual dysfunction. Now as I said before, if you have kicked someone to the ground, you owe it to them to do
more than just stop kicking, you owe it to them to
help them get back up. If you have taken $1,000 from me, and you apologize to me,
I’ll say, “Great, thank you. “I’d also like my money back.” No one would say that if
you took $1,000 from me, an apology would be enough. By the 20th century, first
of all, it’s to be noted, as I said, the former slave
population was promised at the end of the Civil War reparations in the form
of 40 acres and a mule, so even at that time,
there was a realization for the need of economic restitution and economic reintegration or
integration into free society in a way that otherwise
would not be possible. And I think that if
Abraham Lincoln had lived, things might have been different, but he died shortly
after the end of the war. So now we are left with a situation where it has continued to be true ever since the end of the Civil War that these former slave
population and their descendants have never statistically
been able to keep up, to become equal and to
keep up with white society because of so many of the
systemic legacies of slavery which have held them back. Now I know a lot of people point out that we’ve had a black president, and point out Tyler Perry
and point out Oprah Winfrey and point out Magic Johnson, et cetera. The fact that a genius, that we have achieved
a state in our country, where geniuses, no matter
who they are can rise, while much to be celebrated is
not of itself social justice because in America, you
shouldn’t have to be a genius to make it, you should be a
citizen of the United States who is entitled to the same
opportunities as everyone else, that is the American Dream. And so now we are living in a situation where our generation is
called to continue the process and the journey of reconciliation. Since World War II, Germany
has paid $89 billion in reparations to Jewish organizations. Now, the $89 billion that
Germany has paid in reparations to Jewish organizations, obviously, it cannot make the
Holocaust not have happened, but it has had tremendous significance, not only economically but psychologically in terms of the German
reconciliation with the Jews of both Germany and the rest of Europe. And many Americans don’t
realize that in 1988, Ronald Reagan signed the
American Civil Liberties Act of 1988 through which
all surviving prisoners, people who had been imprisoned in the Japanese internment
camps during World War II were given between 20 and $22,000. And I say that to point out
that the idea of reparations, by the middle of the 20th century, is simply what civilized peoples do. It should not be considered
some fringe idea. And that is why I
believe it’s so important to bring the discussion to the fore. Very, very smart people
from Ta-Nehisi Coates to Sandy Darity and others have
done a lot of work on this. I think anything less than $100
billion would be insulting. Some people think it’s insulting to even mention that small an amount. I think this is a big topic, how much money we would be talking about. Obviously, you can’t
put a financial number on the level of evil
that you’re talking about when you’re discussing
something like slavery, but there is a full-on mea
culpa that the Germans have made that I think has had a tremendous impact. I don’t, with my own
interest in metaphysics and understanding of how things work, I don’t believe the German
nation would be as up and successful and abundant as it is today had a couple of generations after the war not done the work that needed to be done, both in terms of reparations, in terms of full-on mea culpa, and also in terms of ensuring to Jews that every generation born in Germany would be given full-on Holocaust education because it’s when you know the history that you see things
completely differently. Two or three popes ago,
John Paul, before he died did a lot of apologizing
for the Catholic Church. And a phrase he used I
found very compelling, he talked about the quote
unquote “purification of memory”, and he said that if you do not apologize, and I remember being particularly, you were talking about the witches, one of his apologies that
meant a lot to me Kassi was the apologizing for the Inquisition. And I thought it should get
much more news than it got, and he talked about the
purification of memory being so important, saying
that if you haven’t apologized, you will remain unconscious
of the ways and the times in which you repeat the sin. And that is what has happened
so much with race in America, and that’s why so often black
people will see something to a completely different
filter than white people where a white person will say, “Oh, it’s terrible did that happened”, whereas a black person is like, “No, it’s not just it
happened, it happened again.” That’s a completely different framework, it’s one person sees an incident, another person sees trends
that’s been going on for a long time, and that
if unaddressed, gets worse. Inertia means the tendency of the object to move in whatever
direction it’s been moving until there is a pattern interruption, the disruption of the status quo. At this point, so much of
the status quo in America in terms of legacies of slavery
and deep systemic racism is so baked into the cake that too often, we do not even see that the behavior or that the pattern represented
legacies of slavery. Paying reparations for slavery
will not fix everything. The issue of race and
racial reconciliation in the United States is obviously
a multi-dimensional issue and there is much repair work to be done both internal and external. Kassi was talking before
about white privilege and so many of the ways
that the mechanisms of white supremacy are internalized and just like after the Civil War, many of the external symptoms
became internal symptoms that in a way were just as bad. I don’t think we have to
minimize, as I said before, the successes and the struggles
and the deep sacrifices of our ancestors, either black or white, to simply acknowledge that
it’s time in our generation to take the next step in this journey. When you’re talking about
people who are enslaved for two and a half centuries, and then you’re talking
about the fact that there was another 100 years of
institutionalized violence perpetrated against them,
it shouldn’t be considered so outrageous that it’s
taken us another 100 years and then 40 years, well, not 40 years, 60 years, almost 60 years, 55 years since the civil rights movement for us to (sighs) get to the next point where we are ready to complete, well, to further the task. And once you really
understand and recognize that a nation is a group of people, that the same psychological and emotional and spiritual dynamics that
prevail within the journey of an individual prevail
within the journey of a nation, and when you read words of
no less than Abraham Lincoln talking about how a nation
must confess its sins, and particularly when you realize this is the 21st century now, our politics needs to keep
up with the 21st century. What has happened in terms of
paradigm change in medicine needs to happen now in
terms of paradigm change with politics. We are treating politics today the way we used to treat
medicine, strictly allopathically. You don’t take care of
any of the psychological, spiritual or emotional,
or even nutritional issues involved in keeping your body healthy, and then you just get sick
and hope that you can apply some external remedy to making it well, we know better than that. And so now we need a whole person integrative holistic politics. It is not enough when a
country has a stage four cancer in so many ways like ours does to just continue to talk
about which topical ointment might make us well, we need to do some deep
work in this generation. We must have a politics
that is in keeping with 21st century thinking,
and 21st century thinking reclaims some of the ancient
truths of the great religious and spiritual traditions. If this were the Middle Ages, spirituality was reflected
in the architecture of a medieval town, where
the church was in the center and all of the streets went off from there and radiated like the spokes on a wheel. Today, we treat spirituality and religion like it’s just one other category, it’s just another
category, it’s over here, and then there’s health over here and then there’s relationships over there and then there’s business
and money over there. We are reclaiming the realization that spirituality and deep religion, and I’m not talking here
about dogma and doctrine, but deep religious principle
are the laws of consciousness, and they are inalterable,
and they are set. And when we have deviated from love, we have deviated from
righteousness or right useness, then atonement and amends are the way that we cosmically reset the
trajectory of our future. And so for the United
States, there are many ways in which we need to own
some deep, deep errors. William Faulkner said,
“The past isn’t over. “In fact, it’s not even past.” If you look at Germany today, and you look generations of young Germans, you can feel it’s energetic,
it’s in the ethers, you can feel what a gift they were given by the generations that
did the deeper work and paid the reparations. You don’t feel them carrying
around the karmic guilt like even you felt 20 and 25 years ago, and that is because that work was done. And yet we, with a civil
war that ended in 1865 are still seeing
generation after generation after generation burdened by
this awful karmic toxicity. Some people, we used to say
that we should just make incremental efforts at
making this thing right. Isn’t it funny, whenever
they want to do something really wicked in politics, they never talk about incremental efforts? Whenever they want to have huge, multi-trillion-dollar tax cuts
at the very richest among us, they don’t talk about doing
it incrementally, do they? When they want to talk
about invading countries that did nothing to us and
that turn out to be invasions that were the worst mistakes
in American history, they don’t, foreign policy history, they don’t talk about doing
these things incrementally. We need more than small
random acts of kindness now, we need huge strategized acts
of doing the right thing. Now I’m running for the Democratic
nomination for President, as you know, and the states that decide really what the political
conversation will be that dominates our politics
for the next two years or more are Iowa, South Carolina,
Nevada and New Hampshire. Now some people had said to me early on, “Marianne, you can’t go to Iowa “and talk about reparations for slavery.” And I said, as would have
been predicted by anyone who knows me well, “Just watch me.” (audience laughing) Because this part of
interrupting the pattern or the status quo when
it comes to politics is not trying to figure out what to say to make people like you or agree with you, I’m not running to be
people-pleaser in chief, I’m running to the best of my ability, articulate truth as I understand it. And I can tell you that
every time I have mentioned, after talking much the way
I’ve talked here tonight, every time I then climax the
conversation with saying, “Therefore, it seems to me “we should pay reparations for slavery”, every time I’ve talked about this in Iowa, I’ve gotten applause. And every time I have talked
about this in New Hampshire, I have gotten applause. And every time I have talked about this even among white audiences
in South Carolina, obviously among black
audiences in South Carolina, but even among white
audiences in South Carolina, I have gotten applause. Someone has harnessed fear
for political purposes in this country, but you can’t
really fight dog whistles, you have to drown them
out with angel voices. When Lincoln talked about the
angels of our better nature, this was not a metaphor. Just as racism and bigotry, anti-semitism, homophobia, Islamophobia are
demons of the inner nature, angels of our better nature are our love and our love for each other, and our compassion, and
our love for our country, and our love for our earth, and our love for our unborn grandchildren. But those who hate both in
America and around the world hate with conviction today. They hate with conviction, and conviction is a force multiplier. It’s not that more people hate than love, I believe in this country,
as well as around the world, far more people love than hate, but we need to start loving
with the level of conviction and seriousness with which some people clearly display their hate. We can’t just say–
(audience applauding) We can’t just say, “I
love my own children”, the love that will save the world is a love that is just as
proactive and just as passionate for children on the other side of town and the other side of the world. Just as the love for our own home is not enough to save the world, there must be a recognition
that the earth itself is our shared home. And so I believe in a
politics that gives people the opportunity to do the noble thing. Why don’t we just see what would happen if we gave people a chance
to do the right thing? This country’s done
the right thing before, generations have risen up
before and did the right thing. They abolished slavery, they gave women the right to vote, they dismantled segregation and institutionalized white supremacy. If we stop the corruption of a politics that just tells people what
you think they want to hear or tells them what you think they want so that they get what they
want and instead rise above that inherent narcissism and
entitlement and selfishness which is the malignancy of consciousness and instead remind each other
that we have more than rights when it comes to democracy,
we have responsibilities, a responsibility to repair
it where it has been broken, make it better, even better
where it is already doing well and bequeath it to our children even better than we found it. I believe that in the area
of race, and in many areas, we need to atone for
terrible mistakes we’ve made, get much more authentically
real about ourselves, get out of the denial, have a serious, authentic,
fierce and real conversation, and in my experience of
religion and spirituality, as in Kassi’s, that
means a no-bullshit zone. America needs to get real about
race and do the right thing. Thank you very, very much. (audience applauding)
Thank you, thank you. Thank you. Thank you very, very much, thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you so much, and we can talk about anything you’d like to talk about, ask anything that you would like to ask, and, isn’t that what I’m supposed to say? Okay, cool. (audience laughing)
All right. Somebody, Jean, right, has a, is it Jean? – [Katie] Katie. – Katie, I’m sorry,
has a microphone there. So raise your hand if you’d
like to ask or say something. – [Audience Member] So I think
I agree with your argument for as far as it goes,
but I’m just wondering, what about the Native Americans? What about the indentured servants that were brought to the colonies? What about people like my
grandparents who were wage slaves? Where do you draw the
line for reparations? – I’m not a black person, so I cannot speak as a black person. but I want to say something as a Jew. Any time we talk about the Holocaust, every once in a while,
there’s somebody who says, “Well, you’re not the only
ones who had a Holocaust.” And we think, but right now, we’re talking about the Holocaust. We didn’t say there haven’t
been other Holocausts. We always do that to black people. Why is it we’re talking here, it’s like– (audience applauding) We have many things, we
have many things to address. And certainly when it
comes to Native Americans, there’s a serious issue to address there, as I mentioned before,
but too often we jump, there’s something about
the psychology of America when it comes to race, we just find some way
to jump off the topic. I don’t know what that is actually but– (audience member talking quietly) Yeah, yes, of course we do. Yes, and of course we do,
and I don’t think, listen, there are some people in America today who only want to talk about
what America’s done right and have no listening for
what we’ve done wrong. But there are other people
who only want to talk about what we’ve done wrong
and have no listening for what we’ve done right. We’ve done some things
very wrong in this country, and we’ve done a lot that’s
right in this country, and we need to get to all of it. Do you know what I’m saying? But I do think it is reasonable, now you can talk about the history, you can talk about the
fact, which is true, that Native Americans
had lived on this planet for thousands of years before the white European settlers came, so we can have the silly contest about which was America’s original sin? But there is no doubt, and
I don’t think that the idea of reparations for slavery
means we don’t have to do right by Native Americans. If you look at the issues
of poverty, I mean, there are many, many deep issues there, although in my conversations, and I’m certainly willing to be corrected and I’m always open to learning more, most of the scholars and
the leaders in that world that I know prefer that
it be a conversation not about reparations, but first about the honoring of treaties
that were unfairly negotiated in the first place and that were broken. So in every, in every circumstance, there’s a slightly different conversation. Does that make sense? But the fact that we
need to heal in one area doesn’t mean we don’t
need to heal in another. Yes, sir. – [Audience Member] You
mentioned in your talk that you had sort of engaged some
of Professor Darity’s work. – Yes. – [Audience Member] He has a piece about 40 acres and a mule in the 21st century. – Yes. – [Audience Member] So my question is, have you engaged that work yet? And if so, are you willing to, I guess revisit the,
I think you threw out, was it $100 billion officially? Are you re-working that,
given your engagement– – Right, what I had said was that anything less than $100 billion would be an insult. And I have spoken to Professor Darity, and I look forward to the
opportunity to speak to him again, hopefully in a public setting, where we had one conversation where I said this would be fascinating,
a public dialogue, I think a lot of people
would be so interested in hearing this. In a nation’s life, as
with an individual’s life, sometimes we go to the how before we have firmly rooted
ourselves in the what. And I believe America, and I
believe where I can be of help both as a candidate and
hopefully one day as President is to help build a
consensus about the what. People such as Professor Darity have done much more work
than I have on the how. Now the way I see it is a council of black leaders in America
that would be from culture, from academia, from politics that would be a kind of council, a Board of Trustees,
Council of Reparations. The money, whatever
was the decided amount, would be dispersed to
that council to decide, because Sandy was saying things like, “Well, would you give it to this or that?” I said, “That would be, White
America gives you the money, “then we don’t get to tell
you how you disperse it.” The whole point would be
that it would be dispersed to economic and educational projects, which led to a fundamental, a fundamental repair in closing
of that statistical gap. So when Sandy and the other
gentlemen who were on the phone with me asked certain
things, how would it be done? One category of their questions
was we would work that out, and the second category was, that would be for you guys to decide. I mean, the whole issue of
reparations is the money is paid. The money is paid, that is negotiated. How it is dispersed, to
what economic projects, to what educational projects, it would not be White
America’s job to determine it. That’s part of the
psychological reconciliation as well as economic reconciliation. Does that sound right? Thank you. Yes, ma’am. – [Audience Member] I’m
trying to find the best way to phrase this, an easy way. I’ve seen a lot with women
with domestic violence, and it’s an under-talked about problem and epidemic in this
country, as well as how our judicial system deals
with domestic violence, despite the laws, that account
for a lot of homelessness, but also has a link, a
direct link to mass shootings and gun violence. When family courts in our
court system ignore laws and do not enforce other laws, and how would you address that issue considering that it is a big
link to homelessness with women as well as trauma with children and the mental health issues? – One of the things I
talk about in my campaign is the fact that we spend so
much more of our resources preparing for war than
we do building peace. And this is true not only domestically, but also internationally, and the factors of peacebuilding are expanding economic
opportunities for women, fostering educational
opportunities for children, and ameliorating
unnecessary human suffering wherever possible. One of the factors which
indicates a community or a country that is prone to violence is violence against women. That’s why projects that have
to do with decreasing violence against women is one of the
ways we wage peace in the world. It is true just as you
said that domestically as well as internationally, violence against women is both
a sign of violence to come as well as a product of the
kind of violence on the soul that is perpetrated on
men as well as women through such things as economic injustice, and a culture of
meaninglessness and indignity. Now I don’t think that the
American criminal justice system is a monolith, so when you
say that all of these laws are ignored or all of these
laws are just passed over, I don’t think that’s true. I think it’s important for us to remember that there are people
of high consciousness seeking to disrupt the
status quo everywhere, and we’re not alone in the
things that we’re upset about. I was talking to someone earlier today, I think one of the
things that I’ve noticed and I talk about this
actually in my new book, when we were going through
the tumult of the 60s, it was a whole counterculture, we knew that we were not alone, but today, we have built this narcissistic mentality where we think our trauma is ours alone. When I hear people talking about, “I’m so traumatized by
the Trump presidency”, well, we don’t have time for you to get over your trauma
work before you show up to help your country right now. Those who were walking
across the bridge at Selma were certainly traumatized, and those women who were imprisoned, thrown into jail who were suffragettes who had these mental
contraptions on their neck because they were being force-fed, surely they were anxious. So, we’re not precious dolls,
we’re not porcelain dolls– (audience applauding) Revolutions are neither
convenient nor easy, right? So I think, I want to tell
you a story about the 1970s, when my mother’s first cousin
was murdered by her husband, shot in cold blood on their driveway in the middle of the day
and was given five years. And basically, and this was in Houston, and basically I’ll tell you, you know what the basic defense was? If you would had Jewish
in-laws like he did, you might have killed somebody too. Now, it wasn’t spoken, but it was there, and I remember when the judge
turned to my mother and myself and my cousins and my
aunts, as our jaws dropped, when that kind of implication was made, and I remember the judge
turning and saying, “If I see one more facial
expression from you women “on that line, I’m kicking
you out of this court.” So, the older you are, the more
you know about some things, and the younger you are, the more you know about other things. I also remember saying to my mother at the Medical Towers building in Houston when I was a little girl,
“Why is there a sign “between the elevators,
colored bathrooms downstairs?” So some of us remember
things enough to say some things have gotten better, and I think when it comes
to abuse against women, I feel and I think many people my age feel if you’re over 50, yes, the
problem might even be worse, I’m not even denying that, but the consciousness around the problem is infinitely better. Consciousness around the
problem is infinitely better in our society, and I
think all of us agree that on a personal level it is important, that we have zero tolerance, and I think all of us
agree that we want to build to the place where in terms of our society we have zero tolerance. And you can see ways in which
the way our police function, where there are all kinds of cases where a woman will call the
police because she’s been beaten and the police come, and in the old days, she would be scared into saying,
“Oh it’s fine, it’s fine”, but once she’s made that call today, the police will not just
take her word that it’s fine. One of the things that any
knowledge of history shows, and if you’re old enough
to know that this is true even just even in the
history of your lifetime, healing is a process. And cynicism is just an
excuse for not helping, and whining is not an option, and no other generation owed you anything. And sometimes we can
look at other generations that gave a whole lot more than we have. So I think sometimes the issue
is not to whine and complain and bitch and moan about what’s wrong, but to set about the
task of making it right. And there are many ways that
we need to continue with that, and I believe that someone
like yourself is an example of someone who carries that passion, and I think that on individual issues where you feel passion,
that’s your assignment. It’s like cells are assigned. One cell is assigned to the lungs and one cell is assigned to the heart and one cell is assigned to the bones and one cell is assigned to the blood, where we have passion, it’s what’s called in
the East, our dharma. Some of us are passionate
about violence against women, that’s your assignment. Some of us are passionate
about sex trafficking, some of us are passionate
about the environment, some of us are passionate about education, that’s your personal assignment, and then politics is our
collective assignment. Makes sense? Thank you. (audience applauding) Yes, ma’am. – [Audience Member] I’m
wondering how you would support people in shifting
their consciousness on a personal level around racism. – Around–
– Around racism, sort of– – First of all–
– Yeah. – You don’t change other
people’s consciousness, you change your own. You teach by demonstrating. And the last thing you need, especially from a religious
or spiritual perspective, a lot of evil has been
perpetrated on this planet and still is by those
who think they understand higher religious truths and
they’re going to impose it on someone else. The way to teach is to demonstrate, and what I have tried to do in my life, this book was written in 1997. I’m talking about the corporatocracy, I talked about reparations
for slavery in this book that was published in 1997, I talked about racial
and wealth inequality, I talked about mass incarceration, this stuff was already there. And if you are trained, if
you have stage one cancer, the oncologist doesn’t say, “Oh it’s only stage one, we
don’t have to worry about it.” And so trained as a metaphysician, which means greater than the physical, when everybody at the end of the 90s was talking about how good everything was, I remember, the point
of this book was well, doesn’t it depend on what
neighborhood you’re living in? Doesn’t it depend on
what part of the world you’re living in? Because everything we’re seeing
right now was already there. And maybe it wasn’t in such great numbers. When I revised this book this
last year, somebody said, “What’s the biggest change?” I said, “Just the numbers are worse. “The statistics are worse,
that’s basically it.” So what I have tried to do in my work, and I have a book called
“Illuminata” and I also have this where there are prayers
of apology and atonement for slavery and racism, and
I have done those apologies throughout the country for decades, but I have come to feel in my life in terms of what any
contribution I might make, as I was saying before about
this integrative politics, we must address both external
issues and internal issues. Dr. King said we must
have a quantitative shift in our circumstances, and a
qualitative shift in our souls. So I’m not trying to,
either on the issue of race or on the issue of anything else, really trying to change anyone. I’m singing my song, I’m speaking to the best
of my ability what I, what I feel to be true, and then with the political campaign, putting it out to you as an option, you might choose this option. It’s not my job to manipulate
or to try to change my message for what I think you want to
hear or anything like that, I’ve never done that in my career and I don’t plan to do it
now, this is how I feel. And as I said, I’ve got a lot of, on this particular subject, I’ve got a lot of applause in some of the whitest states in America. I think Americans, someone
said to me recently, “How are you going to expand
your political campaign “so that people don’t think
of you as just someone “who’s talking within a religious box?” And I remember saying to the journalist, “First of all, we’re a religious nation. “Second of all, if everybody
who is into religion, “spirituality, recovery or
psychotherapy gives me a listen, “my campaign will be fine.” (audience laughing) I mean–
(audience applauding) Yeah, this totally
intellectually disconnected, overly corporatized, overly secularized political conversation, they’re the fringe, they’re the oddity, and they’re also deeply naive because if you think it’s as simple as just dealing with this
problem on an external level, the problem will be back in
full force in ’22 and ’24. Yes, ma’am. – [Audience Member] My voice
is a little strange right now. – So far we’re fine. – [Audience Member] So
I, somehow or other, I want to be able to address that it’s not just about reparation, it’s about changing our
relationship with one another. – Of course it is. – [Audience Member] And how do we do that unless we get together to do that? And that’s not in an
easy course to create. – Of course, I led a
spiritual center for six years in Greater Metro Detroit
in Warren, Michigan, and I led racial healing groups there, so I’ve had a lot of
experience in the kind of work that you refer to. In fact I remember once, a
woman who was going on and on and on about racial issues, black woman, and there was a white man who
got very frustrated and said, “I’ve heard all this.” You have to give him credit, he was there, but something very profound in that moment because when he said,
“I’ve heard all this”, she turned around and she said, “But you haven’t heard it from me.” And that was the power of that group. In the 1990s, Bill Clinton said we had to have a national
conversation about race, but anyone who remembers that
knows it didn’t go anywhere, but the reason it didn’t go
anywhere because in order, you’ve got people who have
hundreds of years of rage built up in their selves. That’s not, you can’t have
that honest conversation outside an emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually safe place. That’s where the people who
go to Harvard Divinity School are being trained, that’s a skill set. People are just coming to understand, and I’m dealing with this right now, the spiritual facilitation is a skill set and it is a qualification. People who know how to hold the space for that kind of dialogue,
nonviolent communication, which is no different
whether you’re talking about a married couple,
Israelis and Palestinians, whites and blacks in America,
that’s the deeper work that is so much a part of what needs to– – [Audience Member] So
where do we find that? – It’s happening everywhere. I don’t know if you’re
doing those circles here at Harvard Divinity School, but they’re happening at churches, they’re happening at
synagogues, they’re happening– – [Audience Member] But if
you don’t want to belong, if you don’t want to
participate in a religion, like I actually don’t trust
religion now because somebody– – But racial healing circles are not– – [Audience Member] Right
but, so I don’t hear, I don’t hear about those. – Well, I think if you Google
racial healing circles, I think you’d be surprised. I think there’s a lot of
work actually going on in both secular circles
as well as religious and spiritual circles. And I tend to think it even more because of how much listening I’m finding as I travel around the
country for this topic. I mean, something’s coming
up from the bottom of things, but I think at this point, and I think this is one of
the reasons I feel moved to discuss reparations, we
need to do more than talk. – [Audience Member] Oh, yeah. – Like I said, if you’ve
taken 1,000 bucks from me, I appreciate the apology, I appreciate you’re working through what happened inside your
head to make you do it, but I’d like the money back– (audience laughing) And I also think it’s much
easier to forgive people who have had the courtesy
to not only apologize but to try to make things right. Yes, ma’am. – [Audience Member] Thank you. Hi, I’m a little nervous. So there’s a group of
students here at Harvard who have started the Harvard
Prison Divestment Campaign. We only have access to $425 million of Harvard’s invested
endowment of $39 billion, but even within that minuscule percentage, we can see investments in
private prison companies and bail bonds insurers. HPDC has asked President
Bacow to divulge and divest these investments in the
prison industrial complex as well as to reinvest in disproportionately affected communities and academic work to
consider alternatives. He has declined, and despite precedent set and divestment from apartheid,
to a point, and tobacco, he says that the investment
of Harvard University’s endowment should not be used
for social justice reform. What might you say to President Bacow, and will you sign our petition? – What might I say to the
president of Harvard and– – [Audience Member] And
will you sign our petition? (audience laughing) – Well, of course. I don’t think that the
president of Harvard would really particularly
care what I think. I would certainly some be
glad to sign the petition, but more, I just want to acknowledge you and acknowledge other students here who are doing that kind of work and want to see that kind of divestment. This is how democracy works, and this is how an
activated citizenry works. And of course I’ll sign your petition for whatever good that might do, but more I feel about you, what I felt listening to Kassi, with women like you,
America is gonna be fine. (audience applauding) Yes, sir. – [Audience Member]
Thinking in the context of a typical presidential campaign, what will your campaign look like? – What you heard here tonight. What happens in a political campaign is that you spend most of
your time at the beginning, like I said, these four states; Iowa, New Hampshire,
South Carolina and Nevada, which I find really profound actually. It’s not these big powerful
states like Florida and Michigan and Illinois and New York and California, it’s something I find very profound and kind of beautiful
about Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada. And I have not been to
Nevada yet in this process, but I’ve been to the other three, and something very profound that you feel, these states take very
seriously their role. They know how important they are, and they’re listening to candidates and they’re gonna listen all year, and now for the Democratic nomination, about 1,736 people are running, and I, as I say to those
voters all the time, I’m not running against anyone,
I’m running with everyone, and I’m having a wonderful time. It’s hard, but it’s also exhilarating, discussing these kinds of ideas. I discuss reparations for
slavery because I believe that we need a moral and spiritual
awakening in this country and I feel that that’s at
the basis of our dysfunction. There is a moral and spiritual dysfunction that has led to political corruption, that has led to so much human devastation. And the other issues I talk
about are the fact that there are millions of American children living with chronic trauma
throughout our country who go to schools, many
of them don’t even have, meet minimum safety requirements
or have working toilets, in classrooms where there
are not the kinds of, there are not the the
school supplies necessary to teach a child to read. If a child cannot read
by the age of eight, the chances of high school graduation are drastically diminished, and the chances of incarceration
are drastically increased. And these children
experience a level of PTSD, psychologists tell us,
that is no less severe than returning veterans
from Afghanistan and Iraq, but for a returning veteran,
it’s post-traumatic. For these children, it’s
really present traumatic because that trauma is triggered
and retriggered every day. Many of them living in
America’s domestic war zones, violence in their homes, their
communities, their families. And yet these children who
live with this chronic trauma in a way that, to me, should
be considered a national humanitarian crisis. If one person neglects a
child, it’s unethical at best and criminal at worst. Well, this is collective child neglect, but these children, because
they’re not old enough to vote have a constituency, even though Declaration of
Independence says all men, and that would mean children, we’ve gotten to the point of realizing women are not men’s property, but we’re still treating these children like they’re our property,
and they are full-on citizens. So where’s their right,
their inalienable rights to the pursuit of happiness? But they also do not work, therefore they have no financial leverage. So what possible chance
do they have for competing with the financial clout of these major multinational
corporate interests in our system of legalized bribery which is what the United
States government has become? I talk about that, I talk
about climate change also as any any sane, I believe,
candidate would today. As long as we make short-term
profit maximization of huge multinational
corporate conglomerates, whether it’s oil companies,
chemical companies, agribusiness, prison industrial complex, big pharma, health insurance companies, or military industrial contractors, our bottom line, and our
government is working more to advocate for their
short-term profit interests than for the people and the
planet on which we live, then we will continue on this
extremely perilous course which could lead to the, not only the destruction of our democracy but possibly to life on earth. And then the other issue that
I discuss in some detail, in addition to the
sociopathic economic system that underlies all this, and I call it sociopathic
because when an individual has no conscience and no morals and has no soulful sense
of moral responsibility to the other, that’s a sociopath. And so an economic system
which has left behind any kind of ethical responsibility
to workers, to community, to environment and
seeks only and justifies that somehow this is the
better way to organize society, that only fiduciary responsibility
to stockholders matters, this is a sociopathic economic system. And it is an economic system
that has infused the sinews of our civilization, and you cannot have that economic system, which is basically a veiled aristocracy, you cannot have that and have democracy. So what’s happening in our generation is what’s happened in every generation, which is a generation has to decide whether or not to recommit,
you have to re-up, you have to renegotiate every
generation in your heart. It’s not enough that the principles of all men are created equal, all men with unalienable
rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, it’s not enough for that
just to be inscribed on a marble wall somewhere, it has to be inscribed in our hearts. In the Jewish religion,
it says every generation must discover God for itself. Every generation has to decide how serious are we about this? Because of the people, by
the people, for the people shall not perish from
the earth is perishing because the government
of the corporations, by the corporations, for the corporations is not a government of
the people, by the people, for the people. And the last issue where
this is so perilous, possibly even to the
survival of our species is in the way we, is in our agenda for national security. Just as the economic
system that I’ve described as evidenced by these millions of children has absolutely nothing to do with long-term economic planning, nothing to do with
long-term economic planning. The whole trickle-down economic theory, giving huge tax cuts, tax
breaks at the very richest, it absolutely has nothing to do with long-term economic planning, it has decimated our middle class, it has created the largest
wealth inequality since 1929, it’s created a situation where
40% of Americans cannot even, have to struggle making
basic food costs, rent costs, transportation costs and health costs. We have millions of American
living in chronic trauma, chronically, “What am I gonna
do if one of my kids get sick? “What am I gonna do if I get sick? “How am I gonna send my kids to college? “How am I gonna pay these college loans?” Where you have the average, 70% of graduating college
students in America have an average of $30,000 debt. I can’t even imagine being in my early 20s with $30,000 of debt, the
psychic burden of this. And so, if you want to have a
thriving economy in 10 years, take better care of
your 10 year olds today. We now know things, neurologists tell us, we now know things about the
brain of a child under eight that we didn’t even know when this economic system was designed, not to even mention that it
had nothing to do with women within that conversation. So we now know about neuroplasticity
and cognitive abilities and cognitive retention,
if you want to see the gold we should be mining, the energy we should be mining, the power that can fuel
our economy and our society over the next 100 years, look
into any American kindergarten anywhere in this country,
that’s where you see it. You want to see the
power and the potential and the entrepreneurial
spirit of the American, look in any kindergarten. However, we are the
only country that funds our educational system
through property taxes. So that means poor child, poor
neighborhood, poor education, which only extends the
trajectory of poverty. We need to do a massive
realignment of investment in the direction of children
10 years old and younger. That’s where we should be
putting our money as a society. (audience applauding) And just to complete that,
just as our economic system has nothing to do with
planning for economic vibrancy 10 years from now, our
national security agenda has nothing to do with
planning peace on earth. Donald Rumsfeld, who was
the Secretary of Defense under George Bush said,
“We must wage peace.” General Mattis who was, until
recently, Secretary of Defense said that, “If you’re
not going to fully fund “the State Department, I will
need to buy more ammunition.” When this woman was talking
about violence against women, State Department, humanitarian
efforts, diplomatic efforts, efforts that cut violence against women, expanding education for children, expanding economic opportunity for women, and ameliorating unnecessary
suffering wherever necessary, wherever possible, but who’s gonna make any
corporate profits off that, huh? So we have a little bit of money there, and all this money on preparing for war, which as I said is not an
agenda in any way, shape or form for creating peace on earth. That’s not a criticism by
the way of our military, that’s not the military’s fault, those are civilians,
those are politicians, many politicians I respect, but
this is the political agenda that we now have in our country. The US government has
ordered 100 B-21 Raiders, I don’t know how many of you know, does anybody here know
about the B-21 Raider? So let me just spend a moment to tell you because I think we
should all be very aware, the US Air Force has
ordered 100 B-21 Raiders, let me tell you about this plane. Each one costs $550 million, but this is something very interesting. Each one carries both
conventional and nuclear bombs. 100 airplanes that can
carry nuclear bombs, we have thousands of them, of those bombs. Now you drop five of those, it’s over for human
civilization as we know it. You drop 10 of those, it’s probably over for humanity on this planet for
at least 200, 300,000 years. So why is our money going there? Hmm. And this is exactly what
Eisenhower warned us about. So as long as you have a
climate change not dealt with because of profits for oil companies, as long as you don’t
have universal healthcare in the richest country in the world because the profits for
health insurance companies and big pharma, as long as you have that kind
of national security agenda because military industrial contractors will make more profits,
then you’re leading to the moral corrosion of America’s soul. When we’re willing for the
sake of $100 billion arms sale to Saudi Arabia, continue with that, even though we know about the prosecution of their war on Yemen, tens of
thousands of people starving, including all those pictures
of starving children, and our Secretary of State says that, “Well, you can have strategic partnerships “with people who do not share
your values”, no, you can’t. That means you have
sacrificed your values. That means you have none. And that is what has
happened to our country. So I figured I could either yell at TV, or run for President. (audience cheering and applauding) Yes, now. – [Audience Member] Thank you so much. This is really fascinating, because you have a really broad agenda. Having preparations,
that’s one part of it, but it seems to me that
you have a whole agenda that really will be very comprehensive. Now I’m thinking, the Green
New Deal, that’s one thing, if you were at a table
with people who are now trying to incorporate the
New Deal, the Green New Deal, how will your movement, and I think, I’m thinking
movement here because I am one of those Hegelian people that think of the shift of history, the balance, one pendulum here with the Trump Administration
really destroying everything that this country stands for, and needing now a new balancing act– – Let’s hope so.
– Go to the other axis, and it seems to me that the time, it is really ripe to
really develop a system– – This is a very pregnant moment, I agree. – [Audience Member]
Yeah, fantastic moment, but you used the word atonement, both of you used the word atonement, and that’ll require that really major, you’re talking about
through reconciliation, for people to come to terms
with how they have benefited. This institution, Harvard, well, the law school for God’s sake, how they benefited by slavery and all of the natives
and all of these other acts of violence against all the people. So how would that movement look like? Because you were talking
about these groups. But this requires a real national, a real national reconciliation
in the mind of people to come to terms with
how they have benefited by slavery and all of that,
to come to the reparations. And that will take a
while really, I think. – The arc of, as the
saying, as the quote goes, the arc of history is long,
but it bends towards justice. The United States is not a monolith, and we have done terrible things, and every generation
decides between the demons and the angels of our better nature, but we tend to move in the direction of doing the right thing. So I believe, and you
just said it yourself, there’s an awakening going on. I do believe there’s
an awakening going on, we all feel it. And sometimes it takes
seeing real indignity in the public sphere to make all of us go, “Wow, dignity matters”, to see real indecency and
dishonor to make a lot of us go, “Wow, those things matter.” I think what has happened
in the last few decades in this country is that the
moral search for goodness has been too much kept
within the private sphere. It’s not that Americans
aren’t good people, it’s not that we’re not decent people, we’re as decent and good
as anyone anywhere else, but we have kept our search
for goodness and righteousness too much about the private self and not enough about the public self. And I believe that that’s
what’s beginning to change. Several years ago a young man said to me, “Well, Miss Williamson,
you’re just an aging hippie.” He said, “Your generation
was just about sex, drugs, “and rock and roll”, to which I responded, “That was just part of the day.” (audience laughing) I said, “The rest of the
day, we stopped a war. “What have you done?” So we read Ram Dass in the morning and went to anti-war
protests in the afternoon. It’s both and it’s the search for personal moral purification, and as, we think of Lyndon Johnson, and for very good reason we
think of the Vietnam War. but when you look at
his domestic policies, he was profoundly progressive. And he had a war on poverty, and he talked about
wanting a good society. When was the last time we
talked about a good society? Not just being a rich society,
but being a good society? And the reason we’re not a rich society for the majority of people is because we’re not a good society because unjust, unjust economic laws, subsidies, et cetera are not good, they’re immoral. (audience applauding) – [Audience Member] Hi, is this working? – Thank you. – [Audience Member] When
I came here tonight, I’ve worked in New Hampshire politics, I know a tiny bit in the journalism– – Are you a New Hampshire voter now? – [Audience Member] I’m not currently, but if I go up there– (audience laughing) It’s okay because you will have
to meet people three, four, five and six times– – I know.
– “I might think about her.” – I know, after the fourth time we meet, maybe I’ll consider you. – [Audience Member] And
that is a gift about working in New Hampshire. And a little quick anecdote
about New Hampshire. In 2003 I believe it was, the Old Man of the Mountain
was the symbol of the state. He fell off the cliff in, and it was on Beltane Eve. – It was on what eve? – [Audience Member] It was on Beltane Eve. – Wow, that’s interesting. – [Audience Member] And I
actually had been driving through the Notch that night, it was the craziest energy
I’d ever felt in my life, but on the other side of the mountain, there’s an old grandmother, and she was just always waiting
to get her word in edgewise. And pretty soon after that,
we voted in more women to the Senate in New Hampshire than men– – As you have now. – [Audience Member] And I’m
not talking just the federal, and the state one, there have
been several women governors, so this could be a trend. So what I wanted to say is that I do really appreciate your perspective. I came here cynically political, like hey, how’s she gonna play in New Hampshire and South Carolina and other places? And so I really think
that you’re gonna offer a really important thing to the conversation in New Hampshire. And I think that that
spirituality infused down through Franconia Notch, which is
almost like a birth canal, and Mount Washington, those
places are all really powerful and I think that you’re
going to offer a lot in this conversation. – Well, first of all, I’m sorry– – [Audience Member] And
I was just gonna say, in terms of reparations, you were talking about something, we’ve been working at our
church, the UU Church in Needham about diving a little deeper and we’ve been talking
about the history of slavery and how we found it within our own church and what we need to do
to help make it right, and we got into this
conversation the other day where somebody brought up
the idea of fear and trauma and the amygdala and how we
just have this gut reaction to fear other.
– That’s right. – [Audience Member] And
this goes across the board, and I think that that has
to come along with our work. Now we see the most horrible
example of fearing other right now in our country– – That is so true, not only that, but nothing less than that will heal us, and that’s not just true here, it’s true what you just said,
Palestinians and Israelis. That’s why the current political, the conversation that
dominates our politics today, our political establishment is too narrow and too superficial to contain
the energies that are needed to fundamentally disrupt the pattern that led us into this ditch. That mindset cannot lead
us out of the ditch. The mindset that can
lead us out of the ditch is one that goes deeper, and
Kassi talking about recovery. You talked about, you
bottomed out, New Hampshire, the fact there’s been so much
suffering in New Hampshire, the fact of the opioid
crisis in New Hampshire has actually made New Hampshire a place where there is a deeper, deeper listening for something that goes
beyond the obvious, because where the heart has hurt sometimes it’s where the
mind becomes more open. So I just want to conclude
by saying one thing, since it is the Harvard Divinity School. Some traditional Christians
look at Armageddon and they believe that their interpretation of that part of the Bible is that there’s going to be a great
war or great conflict, and after that, there will
be 1,000 years of peace but that that conflict will
be a great global catastrophe. Well, there is an enlightened
way of reading that that does not predict the necessity of such a great cataclysm. It is one in which one
person sees their divorce as their Armageddon, and another person sees
their financial devastation and bankruptcy as their Armageddon, another person sees
their having fallen apart through drug or alcohol addiction and having been through
recovery as their Armageddon, another person sees their
cancer, experience of cancer, having gone through cancer
as their Armageddon, somebody else sees having
lost someone they loved as their Armageddon. And having gone through cancer, or having gone through a recovery, having gone through that divorce, having gone through that financial failure or professional failure,
you become more wise. So maybe you’re not perfect
yet, or you’re not perfect yet, or you’re not perfect yet,
or you’re not perfect yet, or I’m not perfect yet, but what is true for a lot of us is you’re wiser than you used to be, and you’re wiser than you used to be, and you’re wiser than you used to be, and I’m wiser than I used to be. We can put all this wisdom
together and change America. Thank you very, very much. (audience applauding)
Thank you.

Posts created 16654

67 thoughts on “Reparations for Slavery: The Role of Repentance in Politics

  1. They took us from our Homeland, robbed us of our heritage and sold us into slavery, which we are still captives with no where to go. Their children owe us for everything they did to us….

    Zechariah 11
    4. Thus saith the Lord my God; Feed the flock of the slaughter;

    5. Whose possessors slay them, and hold themselves not guilty: and they that sell them say, Blessed be the Lord; for I am rich: and their own shepherds pity them not.

    Matthew 25
    40. Verily I say unto you, In as much as you have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, you have done it unto me.

    Acts 5
    30. The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree.

  2. Stop!!!!!!!! Saying people of color!!! Right the Fuck now!!!!!
    Just say (Blacks)…we love this better than the term African American or color!!!!!

    Repeat after me !!! # ADOS / AMERICAN DESCENDENTS OF SLAVES ……….
    it's not about people of color , it a out my black Americans only!!!!!!!

    Don't place us in a group with women, immigrants , Gays, ….we are not the same we are riding in this Lane all alone …..

    You gave Reparations to the native Americans
    The Japanese
    The Germans
    The Fake Jews
    And still paying Reparations to the Bastards till this day …..

    Our case is much !! Much worse than the Jews

    Give us our Check!!! We are as I serious ….America will Collapse like Rome if you fail to make this right!! ..mark my words

  3. Reparations is a ridiculously rascist proposition whites dont owe blacks anything they free themselves whatever injustices they suffered under the 5 percent of americans who owned slave were satisfied with the blood of the civil war soldiers

  4. So……! She’s running for democratic presidential candidate. This is a strategy Caucasians use to get an advantage. The reality is Caucasians often express a dream to fulfill while never fulfilling on their promise. This hustle is old and more likely a trap. Slick talk, don’t fall for this scumbag conversation.

  5. Fuck you white apologists, we owe nothing to nobody
    And you blacks need to go back to Africa and protest there, against the very people that sold people you never have known
    So clean your own people up and your ghettoization of the country, its nobody's fault now but you're own

  6. So, are us Europeans going to get our reparations from Rome for enslaving our people? How about reparations for what the Muslims did to our European ancestors? They stole and enslaved Europeans for 1300 years. So, then what do the American aboriginals get for reparations? Blacks would be last on the list.

  7. An unsaved unbelieving woman talking about a degree in divinity from an atheistic satanicaly conditioned staff in a has been Ivy League intellectual wasteland. There is no revolution only destruction of good morals.

  8. 100billion from a country in trillions of dollar debt says nothing really! We need states, land and secession from union and don’t forget the wall, just Incase you change your mind! Preferably the land that are ancestors worked, bleed and died on!

  9. What a bunch of crap! Reparations? There isn’t a white person alive who owned slaves nor a black who suffered slavery? Totally! Sick of the lefts bullshit of white shame and white hate. Sick of hearing how BAD America is too! It’s still the greatest country in the world! Fairest country in the world! The left is on the way to re-electing Trump. I don’t want to be CA or NY….the liberals have ruined CA and are on the way to ruining NY! 🤮

  10. A bunch of spiritual rambling babble. She seduced you gullible idiots into believing platitudes. Can someone tell me: where did she lay out physical steps to take that directly lead to enforcing congressional actions to write into laws that will mandate the Treasury to issue monetary payments? Neither will she, in the future, present a definable practical plan. You blacks need to recognize the games white politicians play with words. Reparation is defined "the making of amends for a wrong one has done, by paying money to OR >>> otherwise helping those who have been wronged." The Black person seeking Rep defines it as "paying money" & the white person seeking Rep defines as "helping."
    Yes, she mentioned $100 billion, but this is smoke & mirrors. Use common sense: Congress doesn't NEED a President to champion or propose a Reparations Bill. The committees in the House can PROPOSE one without Presidential approval. Even if Congress voted & passed such a Proposition & President Whoever J. Gender vetoed it, Congress can STILL PASS it into LAW. No President has the power or authority to stop a majority vote from Congress when it comes to law-making.

    My point: there are no majority voices in Congress who support such a policy! If there was a committee would've been formed & stepped forward a long time ago. If you don't here "reparation" talk COMING FROM WITHIN the House of Representatives in the FORM of a Special Committee (and to an extent "in" the Senate), it will never REACH the Congressional floor. I challenged anyone to logically debunk this assessment with opposing credible evidence.

    1:07:21>>> A council of black leaders. Tell me something of esteemed significance in the past 30 years, that black leaders have achieved economically for Negroes? Wait, you can't. Yet you all believe a "council of [white appointed] black leaders" are equipped to handle $100 billion dollars through economical & educational programs for the lowest income class of people in a white-focused nation. If you believe this is practical & obtainable, then, yes, I believe in Hobbits & Ents too.

    1:14:32 >>> And Negroes need to learn the US history of US payouts: Indians got reps (land & $$); Irish got reps ($$); Japanese Ams got reps ($$); Jewish Ams got reps (land & $$); & Negroes for 150+ years got speeches (penniless words).

    This is Game 101 of getting the black vote & black money. Time will show you she is nothing more than a linguistic sorceress: using collegiate words to enchant you into day dreaming foolish fantasies. I'm willing to bet anyone in a public forum a $100 wager, this woman will never see the US Presidency in 2021 or 2025. She is nothing but an appeasement puppet.

  11. Beyond the initial enactment of the kidnapping of slaves in the mid 1500. 1865 was another dose of hell on earth for slaves ( human-beings ), Black Code Laws written in the constitution enforced by the 13 th amendment act. Later Jim Crowe Laws, and all the various other types of laws concerning voting rights, fair housing, segregation, public education, owning land rights, denial of full military honor and the right to operate job duties in equal capacities as whites ect…

  12. Beyond the initial enactment of the kidnapping of slaves in the mid 1500. 1865 was another dose of hell on earth for slaves ( human-beings ), Black Code Laws written in the constitution enforced by the 13 th amendment act. Later Jim Crowe Laws, and all the various other types of laws concerning voting rights, fair housing, segregation, public education, owning land rights, denial of full military honor and the right to operate job duties in equal capacities as whites, please tell me when was America great for me and my ancestors,
    " Make America Great Again. " ?

  13. ALL MY BLACK PEOPLE!!!!!..GO WATCH THE VIDEO TITLED…Dr Claud Anderson-The Exceptional People…1hr 25 mins 29 sec long..THIS IS NOT THE DAMN TRUTH IN WHAT WHITES ARE TELLING MY PEOPLE!!!!!!!!!

  14. White supremacy job is to go around and make sure they keep you dumb down to the real shit that they have done to people of color and what they continue to do to people of color…you will never hear them say they are sorry and give us back what belong to us…all the wealth…they generated from our sweat… blood for 400 years of free labor… do the math on that…🤔

  15. Caucasians are to evil to vial. When it comes to African Americans. There hated for these people runs deep they hate these people for no reason. They know about all there grate history but refuse to teach them.of there own history in there schools. There own scolors put out book about African Americans true identity as isrealites. And the Bible is there history they are the Hebrews of antiquitys there scolors know that Christ is a Negro god is black and the angels are black. And Christ was sent to them only this is why they are hated by these people

  16. People who were never themselves enslaved want cash from people who have never had slaves. Even more repugnant, blacks in the USA are, with the admixture of European DNA, the descendants of slave masters and slaves. The children of victims and victimizers trying to stick their hands in the pockets of people who had nothing to do with slavery.

    Harvard-educated fuckwits.

  17. Come on! A "Divinity school" with a bimbo teacher with her cleavage screaming "Look at me, look at me!!"?! Is this seriously a Harvard class?!

  18. reparations is a great idea so is unicorns delivering gold nuggets to my front door every morning un fortunately neither will happen

  19. All my black friends are demanding reparations! …..not for slavery though, but for what the Democrat Party have done to them over the last 50 years!

  20. Marianne Williamson a low-life race-baiter. So many black people despise Democrats and the notion of reparations. Check out Larry Elder, Walter Williams, Jesse Lee Peterson, Candace Owens, Thomas Sowell, etc…black people don't want Marianne Williamson's race baiting filth.

    Marianne Williamson sees black people as her pets. She's a racist and she's offensive.

  21. …Whatever, you are just like the rest of them Degenerate, Deranged, and Dysfunctional Motherfuckers who think they know what the Fuck they are talking about… the Whole Goddamn country was created by foreigners and Criminals from Europe and elsewhere… All the Documents created to represent the Masonic order and its Subjects are Full of Shit… You Goddamn Fucking Broom Witch! Stink Bitch…

  22. Is it plausible that those who really want "Reparations" are the attorney's who would plan on getting 30-40% of $1,000,000,000,000……. Only plausible?

  23. Listened for five minutes and it is all Gobbledygook and really is a good example of the crap that is being taught in our colleges today. This is the real problem and has been for decades the mistake we call advanced education.

  24. I support restitutions paid to the American families who lost loved ones freeing the slaves. I'm also in favor of having Africa pay reparations for the enslavement of their own people.

  25. You cannot repent for something you did not do and when the victim of the wrong act which you did not do is long dead. These women are so stupid. We need to get women out of academia, politics and media. They are destroying America.

  26. Unfortunately she doesn't understand her own thoughts… There's a reason that the bible requires man (male) as leaders

  27. Sounds to me that she is making the case that all white people are guilty.
    All white people somehow relate to KKK and other supremacist groups.
    Verdict: guilty by association. Pay up!!!

  28. I need reverse reparations. I never got my slave. White privilege, my ass. I'd consider the speaker, but she's obviously been enslaved by Satan. Kassi available? She's only half-enslaved.

  29. Since my ancestors were among many Europeans who were enslaved by Romans, Germans, Vikings and other marauding nations I am expecting reparations. When will I be notified of the amount I will receive.

  30. Here is the real problem, the colonists did buy the slaves after they were brought to North America but the people who enslaved 95% these people were their fellow black Africans. If you talk about "reparations" you first have to get the funds from Africa nations/tribes who made millions when they sold the slaves. An easy source of information on this is "The Atlantic Slave Trade" which can be found on youtube.

  31. Learn the facts of history which this woman obviously has not knowledge of. Watch "The Atlantic Slave Trade" on you tube to learn who really "enslaved the blacks in Africa. Who got the money? This is why it is all Gobbledygook and makes no sense. If this women became President, America would collapse.

  32. To have done more hurt to a man than he can or is willing to expiate inclineth the doer to hate the sufferer. For he must expect revenge or forgiveness; both which are hateful. (p62) Leviathan or the Matter, Forme, & Power of a Common-wealth Ecclesiasticall and Civill. By Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury London, printed for Andrew Crooke, at the Green Dragon in St. Pauls Church-yard 1651

  33. Reparations was payed to former slave owners for having to free their slaves and lose money for the free labor their lazy asses needed the enslaved people to do in order for their lazy asses and famies lazy asses to love high on the hog but the labor of other people a form of welfare if you will. Lazy ass trash minded people.

  34. I like what she speaks on but in it all I'm getting that many descendants of slaves will not get what's owed to them because this black council will just setup corporate and non profit identities to funnel the money back to them. Only further creating a kind of black version of the white sellouts and scam artists that have been able to become super rich based off of the idea of funneling money back to them via corporations and nonprofits..

  35. Wow. Unbelievable! The Democrats sold the U.S. to Arabia and China. For years china has been putting the art of war in full effect. They owned our government since the 80's maybe longer.

    They have been slowly studying us after the post take over. Now they will be our lawyers, judges, police officers, and eventually when they become strong enough politically they will become our leaders. Which isn't far away. Every town, or city big or small in the U.S. already has a china town of some sort.

    They have secret soldiers here in the U.S. too. They study our way of doing business then they relay the information to their country men. Being that they already control our government, they use our educational and the legal system to stop us from passing on proper and relevant knowledge of business and marketing to our children.

    They use the legal and educational to create confusion ( racism, LGBT, gender war, immigration, materialism, outdated information, fear and anxiety of what should be normal like getting a job and running a household) and to pass foolish laws (IRS income tax, minimum wage, rediculous child support payments, gay rights, metoo, etc, ridiculous fines and detention.) to fleece the pockets of the American people.

    Our nation has become our enemy because the Chinese realize our politicians have a weakness for opioids and money. They pay the important influencers they back, created and support to influence our laws and our policies along with or media. They then use the media and talking points to reinforce and normalize their ridiculous and out blatantly useless and harmful ideologies and enforce their take over agenda through chaos and misery.

    Our past infrastructure and systems before china took over was amazing. We had room to dream the American dream. We had one job per household and that was good enough. Now in a household with 4 people working 3 jobs is barely paying the rent. George bush went to war with Saddam to bring us wealth and more power but china is the world power now.

    Our IRS Dollars are going towards terrorizing and killing Americans and our dreams. The GDP increase, we make more millionaires and billionaires and have created hundreds and thousands of new innovations and new jobs yet the country is cutting social and financial support systems more and more along with crucial necessities for survival (housing, food, transportation, food, utilities, food) are now way more expensive than ever. Even when things were hand made and materials were difficult to make things weren't so expensive and stingy.

    Now with all the new found wealth, technology, innovations, successes and resources weather raw or recycled we have increased poverty and dispear.

    This is serious. We have become domesticated, spoiled animals going at each other's throats. America has changed from a melting pot of people coming together and working with each other to a state a fear and hate for each other. This is not by accident. The art of war is real!

    We were once a kind loving prosperous nation. But because of greed racism and corruption we are becoming a losing nation. Now Any corporation can buy justice and influence our quality of life buy creating and enforcing wicked policies.

    Our educational system is a joke. Private public, charter schools you pay, pay, pay with no guarantees and might even do more harm or incur major debt. We go to public schools to learn enough to buy from the Chinese and how to work to make them richer.

    The Chinese educate their off springs with all the knowledge of business, technology and trade. Things the U.S. focused on before the take over. Then the chines slowly creep into disciplines and markets like a snake coiling around the neck of a sleeping prey. Then they over take it, strangle it then they consume it. (California, Canal street).

    Our country once made sense. We had goals we had dreams, now it's a horror film. One conspiracy, disaster and crap after the next. No rest, no family time nothing that promotes health or life. Even our foods are artificial and poisonous.

    But through the midst of it all the creators always sends us the answers to our problems before it's too late.

    The black people in America have a movement for reparations. We the people has lost control of our government. We need to come together black and white under one cause and get this money back so we can start taking back our government.

    White people you need to be smart. The money is not coming from your pockets. Plus this bailout will be the first time in history the public will benefit from a dispersal of government funds on a whole. If business are failing in the U.S. it's because China has attacked our consumer base (locked them up, killed them, financially assassinated them or turn them off of being a great consumer) what we need to do is demand the problem be fixed as a nationt to get the country running again. If I was a white man with a failing business about to go broke I would more than welcome 20 to 30 consistent steady paying black customers per location than 20 chinese competitors circling like vultures.

    As a smart white man, a white man that understands business I would understand business 101 with no consumers no business. So instead of supporting laws and policies that kill my consumers and alienate I would support laws and policies that make them prosper so I can flourish.

    If I was a white man and negros wanted reparations by golly let them have what is owed so we can get what we deserve which is money back in the hands of the American people circulating getting stronger.

    I think with all the brain washing and influences it's easy to be caught up in the hate machine. Just don't cut off your own nose or you children's legs in the process because things that look sweet today might be sour tomorrow.

    White people open your eyes. Imagine millions of black people with free money lined up to spend money at your business.
    I repeat. Let's sit back and vision together, 800,000,000 black people with free money, reparations money, any money lined up in front of your business.
    Just think about it. Less need to spend money or time on marketing and promoting. Less hassles in life. Not having to worry much about crime, or your place of employment being robbed because there just isn't enough money or opportunities to make money. Think of all the lives that will change on a micro level and burst in the economy it would cause because blacks are now buying more on Ebay and Amazon. If we do the right thing as a nation we will prosper.
    Just like politicians are greedy to get every vote regardless of who votes for them, you the business man/woman or service providers should protect and support the your consumer base .

  36. As a white male i fully support reparations… while i dont make very much money at rhe moment… i do have 3 african american families whom i pay weekly reparations too… while while hoping for forgiveness of my slave owning ancestors…

  37. Land and $……where are they???? And correct American Hist. We came from the elite class of Europe as Europians and were mixed amongst the aboriginal Negro people and Red Man already here.

  38. For slavery and Jim Crow they sweptthat shit under the rug and the Tuskegee experiments not to mention stolen patterns and ALL the Black Wallstreets🤓

  39. Read the Book; "When Affirmative Action was White" An untold History of Racial Inequality in 20th Century America By Ira Katznelson !!! Read this Book before talking about Reparations !!!!! These are Reparations for A.D.O.S. = American Descendants of Slaves !!! Other Groups may have their own Justice Claims !!!! See "Breaking Brown" also on You Tube !!!!! Understand this; Slave Owners Received Reparations for Slavery Ending !!!!! So, you're arguing that the Slave Owners are more deserving of getting reparations for causing slavery, but those that suffered from it do not deserve reparations ?????

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