Uh-oh! The 'reparations study commission' dodge of Dem presidential contenders is in peril
A Democrat running for president is calling for actual money — a lot of it — to be spent on "reparations for slavery," breaking the informal understanding to relegate the idea to a study commission. Because ultra-high black turnout and support are essential to any Democrat presidential candidate, nobody can afford to dismiss the idea of "reparations" as a ridiculous, problem-ridden proposal. Lots of blacks, and some whites and other races, support the idea, but overall:
A July 2018 survey from the left-leaning Data for Progress found that 26 percent of Americans supported some kind of compensation or cash benefits for the descendants of slaves. A May 2016 Marist survey also found that 26 percent of Americans said the U.S. should pay reparations as "a way to make up for the harm caused by slavery and other forms of racial discrimination."
Until now, the most that any Dem contender would say was that the issue ought to be "studied" by a new commission convened for the purpose. But that dodge may not be possible much longer if a contender on the debate stage goes a step beyond the set-up-a-study-commission dodge and actually puts money on the table.
Without too many people noticing, so far, one candidate who has qualified for the Democrats' presidential debates has indeed called for actual money — at a minimum, at least $100 billion — be spent on reparations. William A. Jacobson of Legal Insurrection is one who did notice, and he calls our attention to this video from Marianne Williamson — a self-help guru with a big enough following to make the debate cutoff:
There is no ceiling to the plan. Her campaign website puts the bill at $200-$500 billion, but Williamson demands reparations "whatever it costs[.]"
If Williamson is serious about moving up among the Democrats' base — which is 25% African-American — she could speak out in her debate about being the only candidate willing to talk specifics and denounce the others as dodging the issue — which is true. But if she does that, she will further marginalize the election prospects of the Dems in Congress and on the presidential ticket if the eventual candidate endorses actually spending hundreds of billions of dollars on "reparations."
Image credit: YouTube screen grab.