The New York Democrat, who introduced the proposal to tackle climate change by radically transforming the economy, posted a series of Instagram videos filmed in her home state talking about community gardens as a “core component” of her proposal.
“What I love too is growing plants that are culturally familiar to the community. It’s so important,” she said as she filmed a community garden in the Bronx.
“So that’s really how you do it right. That is such a core component of the Green New Deal is having all of these projects make sense in a cultural context, and it’s an area that we get the most pushback on because people say, ‘Why do you need to do that? That’s too hard.’”
She went on to add that growing cauliflower in such gardens is a “colonial approach” and the reason communities of color oppose environmentalist movements.
“But when you really think about it -- when someone says that it’s ‘too hard’ to do a green space that grows Yucca instead of, I don’t know, cauliflower or something -- what you’re doing is you’re taking a colonial approach to environmentalism,” Ocasio-Cortez said.
“That is why a lot of communities of color get resistant to certain environmentalist movements because they come with the colonial lens on them.”
“But when you really think about it — when someone says that it’s ‘too hard’ to do a green space that grows Yucca instead of, I don’t know, cauliflower or something — what you’re doing is that you’re taking a colonial approach to environmentalism.”
Ocasio-Cortez has emerged as the key Democratic voice on how to tackle climate change, going as far as to slam leading presidential candidate Joe Biden over reports that he’s exploring a “middle-ground” approach to tackling the issue.
But the latest Instagram stories aren’t the first time Ocasio-Cortez linked climate change and the oppression of communities of color.
Last month, the freshman Democrat said the migrant crisis is due to climate change, adding that if the U.S. doesn’t pass legislation addressing climate change, the U.S. would “have blood on our hands.”
“The far-right loves to drum up fear & resistance to immigrants,” she tweeted. “But have you ever noticed they never talk about what‘s causing people to flee their homes in the first place? Perhaps that’s bc they’d be forced to confront 1 major factor fueling global migration: Climate change.”
“I think what we have laid out here is a very clear moral problem,” she said at the House Oversight Committee. “If we fail to act or if we delay in acting, we will have blood on our hands.”
Senate Democrats in March failed to reach the 60 votes necessary to begin debate on the Green New Deal proposal, with 42 Democrats and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., voting “present.” The lawmakers said they didn’t vote for the proposal because it was brought to a vote by Republican Senate Majority Leader for political purposes.
Ocasio-Cortez also said in February that “there is no justice and there is no combating climate change without addressing what has happened to indigenous communities… That means that there is no fixing our economy without addressing the racial wealth gap.”