'Patriarchy, misogyny, sexism' - Rosa Clemente tells Abby Martin that these odds stacked up against her when she stood as the U.S. Green Party 2008 Vice-Presidential candidate, in the latest episode of the "Empire Files" on teleSUR.
Clemente, a leading scholar on Afro-Latinx identity and political activist, both now and during the anti-racist struggles of the 1960s and 70s, also explains the relevance of third party politics as well as organizing in the Trump era.
Clemente stood with Cynthia McKinney on the ballot as the Green party's Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates nine years ago.
But Clemente said prejudice mounted against them, and they were out of work for almost two years after they ran.
She tells Abby that there was a "lot of racism" in the party from "white men."
They were also labelled "traitors" by members of the Democratic party for standing during Barack Obama's election campaign.
Clemente said she moved away from the Democrats and towards radical politics when she visited New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
“The minute I saw what was going on, I was obviously mad at George W. Bush and the response from the government,” she said.
But talking to local residents, she also found many people were disillusioned with the Democratic Party because they felt let down.
The experience forced Clemente to analyze the party through a “critical lens.” She then registered as a Green Party member in 2006.
When asked about the Bernie Sanders phenomenon, Clemente said that she believes people in the United States are “always looking for someone to save them” or “an authority figure to tell them what to do,” without taking stock of their responsibility to develop grassroots movements to implement change.
As for creating a new third party, she says the electoral system is "driven by money" and this makes it almost impossible at the federal level but locally "it's a whole new ball game".
Clemente adds that she is very concerned about what's happening right now with the Trump administration and the move towards "round-ups and mass deportations."
Watch Abby Martin's interview with Rosa Clemente in full on teleSUR's 'Empire Files':