New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is running out of things to be outraged about and has now moved to vegetables.
In video rant the 29-year-old said that planting the popular vegetable, grown in Mexico, is a “colonial approach” that oppresses minorities.
“What I love too is growing plants that are culturally familiar to the community, it’s so important. If you look all the way back there, that looks like composting.
“Looks like they’ve got composting going on, which is so awesome, too, because composting is really hard to do in a neighborhood like this.
“We just don’t have the pick-ups and the ease of it that a lot of other communities have. So that’s really how you do it.
“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 I get the most pushback on, because people say, ‘Like, why you need to do that? That’s too hard.’
“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 cauliflower or something, what you’re doing is that you’re taking a colonial approach to environmentalism.
“And that is why a lot of communities of color get resistant to certain environmentalist movements, because they come with the colonial lens on them.
“And it should be no surprise that sometimes a lot of these projects don’t work out occasionally because our communities are naturally attuned to live in an environmentally conscious way.
“A lot of us are one or two generations removed from living off the land. My family in Puerto Rico in many ways lives off the land, but if I went to a predominately white community and said, ‘Okay, you guys are going to be growing plantains and yucca and all these things that you don’t know how to cook, it’s — and that your palate isn’t accustomed to,’ it’s going to be, like, cute for a little bit, but it’s not easy.
“You need to make it as easy as possible to kind of just flow into these communities and to make it work. So, the way that you do this right is that you don’t kind of come into a community and impose what you think is right.
“That is what so many community development projects get wrong, whether it’s housing, whether it’s environmental projects.
“What you need to do is plug it in and find leaders in these communities and support them, and also just, like, pay attention to when they’re speaking about these things, because so often they’ll be saying these things forever and they just go on deaf ears.
“And then when someone brings it up from a different community, that’s like the first time it’s acknowledged, when so many people have been talking about this for a long time. So that’s a huge element to all of this,” she said.
It is tough to wrap your head around the idea that planting certain vegetables, like cauliflower, have anything to do with racism.
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