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‘The Crisis of Democracy: A Marshall Plan for the Biden Administration’
Danielle Taana Smith, professor of African American studies in the College of Arts and Sciences and director of the Renée Crown University Honors Program, wrote an op-ed for LA Progressive titled “The Crisis of Democracy: A Marshall Plan for the Biden Administration.” Smith studies post-conflict reconciliation and issues of civil rights and social justice.
Smith discusses how German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas recently called for a reconstructed Marshall Plan for democracy after the insurrectionist attacks on the U.S. Capitol. Smith writes that Maas’ call to action demonstrates how a fragile democracy in America has implications not only for this nation but for European democratic nations and the world at large.
The original Marshall Plan, Smith writes, was enacted after the devastation of World War II. Smith says this era resembles that of the post-war era, as the COVID-19 pandemic has led to countless deaths and political, social and economic turmoil. Smith believes that it is inherently necessary to look critically at democracy in America, as the pandemic has highlighted the inclusive nature of the government today. “American democracy has been defined by mass exclusions based on race, class, gender and voter suppression,” writes Smith.
Smith says that a reimagined Marshall Plan to help change Western democracy is long overdue. She believes that “redress of racism, sexism, elitism and other forms of structural inequalities” must be at the center of the conversation, as the past year of the pandemic has only exacerbated these inequalities, and it is up to Americans to create equilibrium. “How we move forward as Americans is important for the West and for the world at large,” Smith concludes.
To read her essay in its entirety, visit LA Progressive.
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