Marcel's Vision For A Better America

☆ A Better Deal for Black America
☆ Better Transportation
☆ Better Education
☆ A Better Plan for Thriving Communities

A Better Deal for Black America

Photo by Bryan Dozier/Shutterstock

Update: You can now view my reparations  plan here and its accompanying formula here.

At the end of slavery in 1865, Black Americans owned 0.5% of America’s wealth. Today, 165 years later, Black Americans at almost 15% of the population, fare little better owning just 3% of the nation’s wealth. The average wealth for a white American family is approaching $200,000.00 while the average wealth for a Black American family is almost 10 times less at $24,000.00. Twenty-five percent of black families have a net worth of either zero or negative and in just two decades, it will soon be zero for all Black Americans! This has NOTHING to do with the work ethic of Black Americans but has EVERYTHING to do with the systemic, government-sanctioned, violent enslavement, and the subsequent anti-black racial terror faced by Black Americans first centuries. This first manifested during chattel slavery, where they did not receive as much as a penny for their labor and then it continued through government sanctioned, violent discrimination and exclusion from government policies and initiatives that resulted in Black Americans being excluded from opportunities to build wealth, a number estimated to be high in the trillions.  At the same time, they were simultaneously being forced into deep poverty, by means of redlining,  Jim Crow, and land theft; extreme violence by means of lynch mobs, police brutality, terrorism from the FBI, and race riots; robbed denied equal access to an education by means of underfunded schools and educational discrimination, and more. This has not just hurt Black Americans, but all Americans. According to one study, since the year 2000 alone, anti-black racism has caused the United States SIXTEEN TRILLION DOLLARS! It goes without saying then, a thriving Black America is a thriving America, hence, the motto of my campaign, “Repair Black America To Fix America”. The word “reparation” means “the act of repairing and keeping in repair.” To solve these issues, the American government has a responsibility to repair the damage it has caused, and that is why I will do all within my human power to bring a multifaceted reparations package for Black Americans That Are Descendants of Those Who Were Enslaved By The American Government aka Freedmen to fruition that will be funded by government spending, as have past initiatives. This package will include:

  • The closure of the racial wealth gap that will include measures such as direct monetary payments, tax exemption status, debt cancelation, land grants, business grants, and more;
  • Class protection status for those descending from those who were enslaved by the American government;
  • Allotments of federally granted and protected land in all 50 states where only Freedmen can settle and receive services from the institutions located on these aforementioned lands;
  • Provisions of federally subsidized housing and business grants;
  • The investigation of cold cases of anti-black racial terrorism to bring all living criminals to justice;
  • The reform of heirs property to provide full equity and ownership to all heirs and compensation for any property that may have been lost or stolen through unethical avenues such as “partition sales”;
  • The reestablishment of the Freedmen Bureaus to close all disparities between Freedmen and White Americans such as the high mortality rate for black women during childbirth versus what it is for white women, job discrimination, heirs property, etc.
  • Establish a commission to specifically review and immediately address the unique challenges facing black men and boys

Better Transportation

The 6th Congressional District of South Carolina is 97% rural, only 3% urban, and to that end, over 90% of individuals here, including myself, commute to work every day. For many people in SC District Six, myself included, public transportation is nowhere near where we live, completely inaccessible, and hence, our vehicles are an absolute necessity. Without them, we can quickly lose our jobs, lose our homes, everything, and yet many struggle to have and maintain adequate transportation. From my own experience, I have seen how something as seemingly mundane as a flat tire can send someone into economic ruin. My plan will treat having a reliable, well-functioning vehicle as the necessity it is. It will give working individuals a head start with having access to reliable transportation that will allow them to have greater mobility and contribute even more to their local and national economy. My plan will: 

  • Provide qualified individuals that have maintained steady employment for a year or more with grants from the government that will cover an initial down payment of at least $2,000.00;
  • Partner with small businesses to subsidize car services for qualified individuals with local car mechanic shops and auto repair warranties distributors to cover routine maintenance such as flat or expired tires, oil changes, heating and air maintenance, shocks, and etc.;
  • Introduce tax write-offs for individuals in rural counties that have to commute to receive essential services such as access to nutritous food and medical attention since rural communities often lack even the most basic institutions such as hospitals and post offices and for those that have to commute 25 miles or more for employment to fight the abandonment of Rural America that is occurring throughout the nation.

Better Education

South Carolina is home to the “Corridor of Shame,” a disappointingly long list of schools along I-95, that are in deeply impoverished counties that have long experienced neglect and academic failure. I attended one of such schools from kindergarten to 12th grade and have taught at them for nearly two decades. I used to scoff at the label “Corridor of  Shame” but now, I embrace it because the “shame” is not for the individuals that live in those counties, but for the politicians that have done absolutely nothing to lift them out of deep poverty. Schools cannot be “The Great Equalizer” if they are inherently unequal and financed in a way that perpetuates inequality, do not have a sufficient amount of quality teachers, if the teachers are unsupported and mistreated, if the citizens of the communities and in the schools that serve those communities are not having their needs met. My plan addresses all of this. It will:

  • Develop a median, state standard for each respective state for funding that the local, state, and the federal government will collaborate to create and ensure that no school’s funding falls beneath this median amount
  • Give teachers a starting salary of  at least $60,000.00, restrict class sizes to no more than 22 students;
  • Provide free breakfast, lunch, and additional food for students and all school personnel to have for times when they are not in school;
  • Drastically increase the number of guidance counselors and social workers to support schools and the families they serve;
  • Require and provide tax write-offs for all jobs that provide parents and guardians with time off to attend parent/teacher conferences;
  • Require parents and guardians of all children enrolled in public school have and maintain a working telephone number where they can be readily contacted and that they show engaged involvement with schools if their child presents a disciplinary challenge for the school institution;
  • Make all community colleges and public universities tuition-free for everyone.

A Better Plan for Thriving Communities

There is lots of talk about police brutality, as there should be, but if anyone researches the matter, they will see that if a person wants to fight crime, you need to fight poverty and inequality. South Carolina District Six is the 6th poorest out of 485 Congressional districts in the United States of America. This is unacceptable and conditions like this lead to people living lives of extreme stress and uncertainty, having very few legitimate opportunities to provide for themselves and their families. Poverty, levels of high stress, and lack of opportunities have all been shown to correlate with high levels of crime. Instead of focusing solely on the police, my plan views the issues of policing, crime, poverty, and inequality as all part of a much larger issue in need of a holistic response that addresses all those issues. My plan will:

  • Introduce a federally mandated livable wage that corresponds to the cost of a person’s geographic area;
  • Conduct an inclusive study on poverty to have a real idea of the data;
  • Make Medicare available as an option for all individuals to have quality medical care, not just for physical health, but mental, and emotional as well;
  • Focus on prevention of disease, both physical, and mental, and treating the condition of the person, as opposed to just the symptoms;
  • Substitute abortion, outside of exceptional circumstances, with strong support for thriving families and communities;
  • Shift to a community directed public safety approach ;
  • Install a federally maintained database of officers that have committed infractions so that they are not simply transferred from one precinct to another;
  • Reward police departments that have no outstanding racial disparities in their policing;
  • Change the language of the constitutional limitations of police force from “knowingly” to “recklessly”
  • Mandate federal background checks and waiting periods for all gun sales and intensify sentencing for any individual that fails to comply with the process;
  • Mandate smart gun technology and safe storage protocols;
  • Eliminate all illegal immigration and fine any employer that hires illegal immigrants;
  • Shift more federal funding to households and communities that are either beneath or one to three percentage points away from the poverty line for immediate assistance with utilities, car notes, and health-endangering home repairs such as mold, faulty roofs, sinking floors, access points, etc.;
  • Expand government assistance to give American citizens more of a safety net;
  • Invest in drastically increasing the number of, level of support, and starting salary for social workers to at least $60,000.00 to work with families in need;
  • Invest in the infrastructure of communities to provide an abundance of open spaces such as public parks, street lighting, and to cut down on the number of abandoned buildings;
  • Invest in environmentally friendly sources of energy and use of wasted energy to via innovative industries such as Bitcoin mining to greatly decrease energy costs;
  • Invest in research, technologies, and development of infrastructure to bring promising industries and well paying jobs such as seaports, high speed rail, Bitcoin mining, and more.