The Maryland Green Party celebrates Juneteenth - the United States’ real Independence Day - a holiday that commemorates the end of legal slavery and simultaneously asks all of us to focus on the continued work that needs to be done in order to pay back the debt owed for slavery and ongoing white supremacy.
We are encouraged that in the United States Congress the Democratic-led House of Representatives has called hearings on HB 40, and hope that this indicates an ongoing party-wide commitment to this cornerstone and prerequisite of racial justice. We know reparations will only become a reality if a popular movement builds power to demand it and the Green Party will be part of that movement.
The Green Party understands that the damage and legacy of slavery did not end with emancipation and continues today. Since our founding nearly 20 years ago the Green Party of the United States' platform has demanded reparations for the debt owed to African-descended people in the United States:
“We commit to full and complete reparations to the African American community of this nation for the past four hundred plus years of genocide, slavery, land-loss, destruction of original identity and the stark disparities which haunt the present evidenced in unemployment statistics, substandard and inadequate education, higher levels of mortality including infant and maternal mortality and the practice of mass incarceration. We recognize that reparations are a debt (not charity) that is owed by our own and other nations and by the corporate institutions chartered under our laws to a collective of people. We believe that the leadership on the question of what our nation owes to this process of right ought to come from the African American community, whose right to self-determination and autonomy to chart the path to healing we fully recognize.”
After more than 150 years since the abolition of slavery and 60+ years after the official end of Jim Crow laws, the systematic impacts of racist policies are still apparent.
In Maryland, the Green Party continues to advocate for solutions to these systemic injustices. The party has called for an end to the War on Drugs which fuels mass incarceration including adult legalization of marijuana that uses tax revenue to repair the economic and social damage to the people and communities destroyed by the war on cannabis; elimination of racist environmental policies like waste incineration; a state of emergency to compensate the victims of lead poisoning; fair and just housing policy; and the Maryland Higher Education Equity Act, which would increase educational resources to communities that have been traditionally underfunded by state education policies and make up for consistent undermining of Historic Black Colleges and Universities.
We look forward to the 2020 election season where we expect each of our candidates to offer their own vision of reparations and ending systemic racism in line with the values espoused in our platform since our founding.