Stein Calls Flood Relief Unfair and Uneven
Special to the Maynard Report from Cascade Press
Jill Stein, following a tour of Denham Springs, Louisiana this week, said she witnessed firsthand the unfair and uneven flood relief efforts.
Stein's remarks were made during a Tuesday, August 23rd press conference at the National Press Club in the District of Columbia.
Denham Springs, Louisiana, population of roughly 10,000 people was hit hard by the recent flooding. However, Stein said she did not see any evidence of a recovery effort in the Black section of Denham Springs that she toured.
"There was no recovery, no services," the Green Party presidential hopeful stated. Stein is speaking out about the lack of relief resources in poor sections of Denham Springs, unlike President Obama, who flew into Baton Rouge to make a public relation appearance on behalf of the federal government.
According to Stein, she encountered several people who were living in Denham Springs because they had been displaced from their homes in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina. They were unable to return to New Orleans because of the unequal recovery effort in New Orleans that did not rebuild the Black communities.
Ryan Hargis, Press Secretary for the Green Party of Louisiana issued a statement that said, "In light of the neglect and expulsion of Black residents from New Orleans after Katrina, the flood poses a challenge for relief efforts to show that all lives matter. The recovery will be unfair and uneven if we don't fight."
"We recognize what was so apparent during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, those most greatly affected by these disasters are too often the poor and peoples of color," he said.
Further Hargis said, "The Green Party of Louisiana will fight for equitable insurance payouts and assistance for all affected residents and against the vultures of disaster capitalism."
Stein said the shelter she visited was not an official shelter because there were not enough shelters to go around, so a group opened up a recreation center to house 12 families. As a result of its unofficial status, it does not receive FEMA drops of food, water and toiletries.
"The Black community is usually the first to get hit and the last to get fixed," she said.
"We have a climate emergency," Stein said, "the floods in Louisiana, West Virginia, Texas, and Arizona is related to climate change. When you see so many of these floods of this magnitude, there is no question that the climate is imperiled. It is also the droughts, the fires on the west coast. Our foremost climate scientist James Hansen predicts many yards rise of sea level within 50 years. It is no longer a question of what kind of world we will have but whether we will have a world to live in."
Stein's solution is a Green New Deal, an emergency program that will create 20 million jobs on a wartime mobilization scale. Her plan is designed to stimulate the economy while at the same time eliminating gases which are damaging the environment.
The Green New Deal aims to create 100 percent clean renewable energy by 2030. Perhaps, Stein's Green New Deal will eliminate floods like Baton Rouge. Meanwhile, Trump insults Blacks with insensitive pandering and Hillary Clinton hunkers down to weather yet another email and Clinton Foundation storm.
Harold Michael Harvey is an American novelist and essayist, the author of Paper puzzle and Justice in the Round. He can be contacted at haroldmichaelharvey.com.