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Marianne Williamson on reparations: 'Anything less than $100 billion is an insult'

Democratic presidential hopeful Marianne WilliamsonMarianne WilliamsonMarianne Williamson discusses America's "soulless ethos" Marianne Williamson discusses speaking at People's Party Convention Fewer people watched opening night of Democratic convention compared to 2016 MORE made her case for paying reparations to descendants of slaves during an interview with Hill.TV on Tuesday, saying she would consider anything less than $100 billion an “insult.”

“What I have proposed is $200 to $500 billion — I think anything less than $100 billion is an insult,” Williamson, an author and activist, told Hill.TV’s Krystal Ball and Buck Sexton, adding that the money would be paid over a 20-year period.

Williamson suggested creating a council to oversee the disbursement of funds to programs that benefit descendants of slaves, saying the money could be distributed as "they see fit."

“We should have a reparations council, board of trustees as it were, selecting this counsel – very, very significant because it has to be a board of trustees ... [that] white America trusts and black America trusts,” the Democratic candidate told Hill.TV.

Williamson said the need for reparations is crucial to healing the nation's racial divide, saying most Americans remain “undereducated” about the “real history of race.”

“I don’t think the average American is a racist — actually, I don’t at all,” she said. “But I do think the average American is vastly undereducated, underinformed about the real history of race in the United States.”

Williamson is one of the most outspoken supporters of reparations, but a handful of Democratic hopefuls have also expressed support for the idea.

Democratic Sens. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandWith Senate at stake, Georgia is on all our minds Build trust in vaccines by investing in community workers MSNBC's Ruhle challenges Sanders on push for ,200 stimulus checks MORE (N.Y), Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisBiden calls for swift action while outlining .9 trillion virus relief package Porter loses seat on House panel overseeing financial sector The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump's growing isolation as administration comes to an end MORE (Calif), Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenPorter loses seat on House panel overseeing financial sector OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Nine, including former Michigan governor, charged over Flint water crisis | Regulator finalizes rule forcing banks to serve oil, gun companies | Trump admin adds hurdle to increase efficiency standards for furnaces, water heaters DeVos mulled unilateral student loan forgiveness as COVID-19 wracked economy: memo MORE (Mass.) and Beto O'RourkeBeto O'RourkeBoebert appears to carry gun on Capitol Hill in new ad 7 surprise moments from a tumultuous year in politics Mexican president breaks with other world leaders, refusing to acknowledge Biden win until election is finalized MORE (Texas) have all voiced some level of support for reparations, saying the issue should be further reviewed. Sen. Cory BookerCory BookerNCAA tables name, image and likeness vote after DOJ warns of potential antitrust violations Warren and other senators seek investigation into Trump administration resuming federal executions Cory Booker says he has no plans to propose to Rosario Dawson this Christmas MORE (D-N.J). this month introduced legislation to study granting reparations to African Americans.

Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro, who is also running for the Democratic nomination, has said that he would not rule out reparations.

"We have never fully addressed in this country the original sin of slavery and because of that we have never truly healed as a country," Castro said during a CNN town hall last week.

Still, the topic remains an area of much debate among Democrats running for president in 2020.

In response to a question on whether he would support a reparation plan, Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersBiden to seek minimum wage in COVID-19 proposal Former Sanders spokesperson: Progressives 'shouldn't lose sight' of struggling Americans during pandemic 'I saw my life flash before my eyes': An oral history of the Capitol attack MORE (I-Vt.) said recently that there are "better ways" than "just writing a check."

“I think that right now, our job is to address the crises facing the American people and our communities, and I think there are better ways to do that than just writing out a check,” Sanders said during an appearance on ABC's "The View" last month. 

—Tess Bonn