Uhurus embrace Green Party candidates listen09/29/08 Concetta DeLuco
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The Uhurus held their 17th annual convention in St. Petersburg on Saturday. Presidential and vice presidential candidates from all of the political parties were invited to debate at the event, but only Green Party vice presidential nominee, Rosa Clemente, participated.
Socialist Party presidential nominee Brian Moore was scheduled to participate in a discussion panel with Green Party vice presidential candidate Rosa Clemente, but cancelled his appearance right before the two-day convention began.
The internationally recognized African colors of red, black and green, created the backdrop as Clemente stood alone at the podium. She said the Green party embraces Uhuru’s platform, especially the African people’s struggle for international democracy and self-determination.
Clemente was part of the surge of activists in the 1990s who tied their social justice work closely to the hip hop culture. She said hip hop has always been political in welcoming lyrics about oppression and resistance to the white establishment. It is up to the hip hop generation to pick up the torch where the earlier 1960s civil rights activists have left off, Clemente said, but so far they have not.
One of the main reasons the hip hop generation has not fully embraced the ideals of the Green Party is because of their faith in Barack Obama, Clemente said. The “black left” are on the Obama bandwagon, Clemente said, and the Green Party has become the outcast.
Baba Junde was a participant at the Uhuru convention who does not believe that Barack Obama represents the African people.
Clemente, who describes herself as a black latino, said there are a growing number of “afro latinos” in America. Of the Latin American population, 5 percent are of black ancestry, but are marginalized as Latin Americans. The “white power” in America, Clemente said, keeps the Africans and latinos divided.
With 1 in 100 Americans either in prison or on parole, 1 of 6 are Latino and 1 of 8 are African American, with African and Latino American women being the fastest growing population in prison. Clemente said the American school systems are to blame, and in order to acquire change, we need to strike against the educational facilities.
With the significant increase in police brutality cases against African and Latino Americans, Clemente said, community policing would solve the problem.
And while the Green Party may not win the election in November, Clemente said, it is important people vote for the party so that in 10 to 20 years, there is enough of a following to build an alternative political party. And if Green Party gets 5 percent of the national vote, it will receive millions of dollars of funds.
Jacob Jeffreys is a participant at the Uhuru convention who said even though he realizes the Green Party may not be elected to office, he would like to see a candidate elected who speaks from the heart, like Rosa Clemente.
The International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement has endorsed the McKinney and Clemente ticket.