Long-shot 2020 Dem Marianne Williamson calls for reparations, after debate skirmish over South Bend shooting

MIAMI -- Long-shot Democratic presidential hopeful Marianne Williamson called for reparations and blasted Americans as “woefully undereducated” on the history of race, after the debate hit on the officer-involved shooting in Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s city.

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“The underlying cause has to do with deep, deep, deep realms of racial injustice, both in our criminal justice system and in our economic system,” Williamson, an author, said. “The Democratic Party should be on the side of reparations for slavery for this very reason.”

She added:  “I do not believe that the average American is a racist, but the average American is woefully undereducated about the history of race in the United States.”

The comments came after Buttigieg addressed the officer-involved fatal shooting of a black man this month in South Bend, Ind. When asked about why there has not been more progress in his community on the issue, he said:

“Because I couldn’t get it done ... It’s a mess and we’re hurting.”

Buttigieg said he was “not allowed to take sides” until the investigation was complete. This week, Buttigieg also came under fire from the local police union over his calls for a special prosecutor to investigate the fatal shooting of a black man by a white officer on June 16. The union accused Buttigieg of making decisions on the shooting “solely for his political gain.”

Buttigieg said he has taken “so many steps” in his community to combat the issue and the “wall of distrust,” which he said “threatens the well-being of every community.”

In an interview with Fox News after the debate, Williamson, again, said she believes "very strongly" in reparations.

"What reparations carry that race-based policies do not, is that reparations carry spiritual force there is an inherent mea culpa it is more than just economic restitution, its more than just economic restitution," she said.  "It is a moral and an emotional and a psychological effect of reparations because it is an inherent acknowledgment of a wrong that has been done and a willingness to right it."

Williamson told Fox News that this is "not about a black agenda, it is about an American agenda."

"You simply cannot have the future you want if you are not willing to clean up your past," she said. "And its time for us to put some things to bed on that issue. Its time. The civil war was over in 1865."

Fox News' Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.