In the past few days, the Green Party has come up in a number of conversations I've been involved in, and I'm continually surprised at the number of people who think Ralph Nader is running for president. That misperception is unfortunate for many reasons, most notably because the Green Party ticket actually consists of two women of color--Cynthia McKinney for president and Rosa Clemente for vice president. Coincidentally enough, I was alerted this morning to an interview with Rosa done by Adele Nieves, posted over on ZNet.
Rosa Clemente is one of the most prominent activists of our generation. She is a nationally renowned speaker, writer, and journalist - one of the most important independent journalists covering the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina - and in 2001 was a youth representative at the United Nations World Conference against Xenophobia, Racism, and Related Intolerance. She continues to organize conferences focused on the empowerment of young people of color, working in colleges, community centers, and prisons. In 2008, she accepted the Green Party nomination for vice-president on the Cynthia McKinney presidential ticket. This is an interview conducted by Adele Nieves in mid-October.
AN: Tell me how the Green Party is different from the Republicans and Democrats?
RC: Our core principles: democracy, social justice, ecological wisdom, and economic sustainability. Right there, our priorities are different in principle. Concretely, our party does not take any corporate or lobbyist PAC money. The Green Party was founded 30 years ago with the intention to break up the two-party system, and promote visionary environmental strategies and social justice.
What are the pros and cons of not taking corporate money?
I don't ever see a con in not taking money from corporations. There is not supposed to be a corporate aspect to the government; government is supposed to serve the people. Corporations, especially in these days and times - maybe since forever - are not there to serve the people.