By Jason Ajiake, News Staff Columnist
Posted 10:50 AM EST, Thurs., Sept. 1, 2016
Green Party presidential nominee Dr. Jill Stein spoke at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. last Tuesday, Aug. 23, to address her recent visit to Louisiana, racism in America and her New Green Deal to tackle climate control.
“We had the honor of being escorted through some of the most — most tragically struck areas of Baton Rouge, where essentially there has been no recovery and almost nothing in the way of services,” Stein said.
Stein was hosted by the Louisiana Green Party following the historic flooding that claimed 13 lives, destroyed over 40,000 homes, and left multitudes of people in need of federal assistance. Nonprofit organizations and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) were mostly absent in the relief effort, according to residents.
“From the point of view of the residents in Denham Springs, at least in the neighborhood that we were able to see, this is another case of very unequal recovery,” said Stein. She believes that race plays a significant role in the relief effort, arguing that Black and Latino communities are the “first to get his and the last to get helped.”
Stein later discussed the racial disparities that exist with regards to policing throughout the entire country, in which she proposes to put communities in charge of their police, and with the power of subpoena to hold perpetrators accountable.
However, policing is not the only place in which racism exists, according to Stein. She believes that economic disparities stem from the systemic nature of racism in America.
“Violence is also taking place economically right now. We know that just living while black confers a seven-year loss of life. If you compound that with poor education, which also tends to run in communities of color, it’s another seven years loss of life,” she explained.
Unlike Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.), Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and even President Barack Obama, Stein has vocalized her support for reparations, arguing that “we need reparations to address this historic and compounded burden of economic disparities.”
To combat the failing American economy at large, as well as the ongoing climate crisis, Stein proposes a Green New Deal, “an emergency jobs program that would create 20 million jobs, ensuring that every American who can work and wants to work has a decent paying job, a living wage job.” This proposition is not the first of its kind, as the original New Deal of the 1930’s helped the American economy recover from the Great Depression.
Since the Green Party strives to end the climate crisis, the majority of these new jobs will be, “in the areas of clean renewable energy that is wind, water, sun conservation and efficiency but also in the area of healthy and sustainable local food production, because that’s a major component of greenhouse gasses,” according to Stein.
Despite little mainstream media coverage of her campaign, Stein remains optimistic about winning the election.
“We could potentially win this race. I’m not holding my breath, but I’m not ruling it out. This is a crazy election, it’s not over till it’s over,” she added.
In November, Stein will appear on the ballot in most states, including the District of Columbia.