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THESE LATINAS ARE VOTING FOR DR. JILL STEIN IN THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION

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WHY THESE LATINAS ARE VOTING FOR THE GREEN PARTY’S JILL STEIN IN THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION

BY RAQUEL REICHARD For Latina.com

Despite what mainstream media might have you believing, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton aren’t the country’s only presidential options. This is good news, considering Americans nominated the two most-disliked candidates for commander in chief in U.S. history. Among those frustrated are Latinxs, who definitely can’t support Trump’s blatant racism and xenophobia but are also side-eyeing Clinton for her perpetuation of systemic violence, particularly impacting communities of color at home and abroad.

That’s why these Latinas are planning to vote for the Green Party’s Jill Stein in the November election. Ahead, they share why they are supporting the physician-activist-politician.

Edy Castro, New York, Dominican-Guatemalan-Salvadoran

I am voting for Jill Stein because I believe in her and her platforms, the same way I loved Bernie Sanders for his. She is not part of the oligarchy. She is a real fighter. I believe that women should get equal pay, especially since many of us are single mothers. It is very difficult to make ends meet and provide for our children when we get less money than men. I also know that right now we have to go green because our planet is deteriorating, and if we want our children and grandchildren to live in a healthy environment, we have to act fast. I would never vote for Trump. He is not presidential material. He is a racist, idiotic person. I also refuse to vote for Clinton simply because she’s a woman. She’s more than her gender: She’s a warmonger, lying, cheating criminal. Latinos are terrified about a Trump presidency, but she scares me all the same. Clinton doesn’t care about minorities, either. She’s not “fighting for us.” I fear both of those candidates equally. That’s why I’m not afraid that my vote for Stein will help either of the other two major-party candidates make it to the White House. I will vote Green because I believe in Stein with all my heart. I will vote Green because it’s my right. I will vote Green because I know that it is time to end the two-party system. I’d rather use my right to vote for what is right.

Denisse Girón, New York, Costa Rican

I wholeheartedly believe in the importance of voting and, more to that, voting for someone who you think will work to do their best for everyone. That’s what I think Jill Stein will do. Stein named her policies package the Power to the People Plan, which should immediately catch your attention. She includes two separate points on sustainability, transition to renewable energy and ending “destructive energy extraction.” Despite what many people think, Latinxs have a long history of sustainability, so this is important to me and my family. She also calls for an end to poverty, possibly the biggest social problem the United States faces, through access to housing, food and more. Eliminating poverty won’t fix all our problems, but it’s a big move, and it’s radical to say you will work to end it.

Trump is one of the biggest presidential candidate embarrassments that we’ve ever had, and I’m scared of him. He is openly racist. He started off his campaign last year by calling Mexicans drug dealers, rapists and criminals, and it’s just been downhill since then. It’s terrifying to think that a misogynistic, irrational, white supremacist with a bad tan could be given that much power. He has no idea what real people go through every day, and he gives no indication that he understands the long-term effects of any of the policies that he’s proposing. He would be a disaster to this country. But Clinton is just as racist, though more covert. She says one thing to the public and then her policies do the exact opposite. My mama, a former Clinton supporter, said it to me best the other day: “I don’t see my womanhood in hers.” She’s supposedly this big woman’s rights activist and feminist, but she cherry-picks her women. The reality is that she’s a white feminist and a respectability politics advocate. No matter what she may say during a press conference, debate or campaign ad, her policies do not measure up. Clinton has a long history of supporting U.S. exceptionalism and imperialistic policies. Women, people of color, native groups and children suffer under Clinton’s policies time and time again.

Lately, there’s been a lot of criticism from Clinton supporters who say that voting for Stein will give Trump the win. I don’t think so. His campaign is crumbling all on its own. But, still, who are you to dictate who I vote for? Clinton supporters have been throwing the word “privilege” around a lot, claiming that it’s a privilege to vote for a third-party candidate. That’s pure bullsh*t. I think it’s a privilege to be able to ignore the fact that Clinton is a war hawk, has supported dangerous regime changes that directly led to the deaths of indigenous leaders and would deport children back to war-torn countries to “send a message.”

Josette Souza, Mexico/Florida, Puerto Rican

I’m voting for Jill Stein because she is the only candidate whose policies and political history and trajectory have actually addressed the problems underlying all of the issues both of the major-party candidates claim to be fighting for. Trump supporters say they’re voting for him so he can fix the economy and return the U.S. to this mythical and undefined “greatness,” and yet Trump is a part of the very system of exploitation that has created the unequal and unbearable economic conditions his supporters are suffering today. Clinton supporters say they’re voting for her so that we can supposedly unite the country, make incremental systemic changes in the arena of police brutality and mass incarceration, and keep our country safe from threats like ISIS; however, she is a major proponent of the international war-mongering and domestic militarization policies and practices that are creating the very threats to our safety we’re afraid of, both at home and abroad.

Neither major-party candidate is good for Latinxs, either. Clinton wants to kill people who look like me abroad, and Trump wants to deport, ban and exploit with impunity people who look like me at home. Stein wants to put an end to the very systems that make both of the others candidates’ crimes against humanity possible. She’s proposing changes to our foreign policy that stand in direct opposition to Clinton and that shift our country from one that underhandedly dominates, destabilizes and pillages other nations to one that works with other nations through the lenses of diplomacy, non-violence and human rights. She’s proposing changes to economic and immigration policies that stand in direct opposition to Trump and that create a welcoming and just path to citizenship for the very people whom we all have to thank for the growth and well-being of our nation.

Kayla Popuchet, New York, Peruvian

I was a huge supporter of Sanders, his platform and the movements he stood for. With him out of the race, my decision is a no-brainer: Jill Stein, who was always my Plan B. She is the only candidate right now seriouslytalking about ways we need to prevent further climate change. She fights for causes important to me as a low-income student, from the fight for $15 to free public education and forgiving remaining student debt. She has also been out in the streets marching with Black Lives Matter and tweeting about racial justice, not waiting for people to call her out on it.

Trump is a misogynistic, racist, islamophobic, ableist joke of a presidential candidate. The only reason I can see why people would vote for him is because he does represent anti-establishment, unlike Clinton, but that’s only because he’s the kind of rich the establishment feeds from in the first place. As for Clinton, she’s a systemic racist, warmonger, power-hungry person, and that is not what I stand for. Her voting history as a senator and her decisions as secretary of state contradict with her campaign. I don’t like people who conveniently try to profit from the issues I face for the sake of a vote. To me, they’re both dangerous. I do believe Trump is more culturally dangerous than Clinton, because he is the representative of the silent majority, the racism we skim over and pretend doesn’t exist. But Clinton, too, is threatening, from supporting the exile of President Manuel Zelaya in Honduras and she and Bill exploiting and robbing the people of Haiti when they needed help to her supporting wars and bombings in the Middle East and buying big corporations that profit off exploitation in developing nations and low wages to our own people in poverty. She may say she’s with us, but her record shows differently. That’s why I’m not worried when people say that voting Green will help make Trump president. It’s Clinton’s desire for power, rather than a passion to benefit the people, that could cost her this election. I’m just voting according to my beliefs, which is what voting is about, right? Clinton once said that Sanders supporters didn’t want to vote for her because we were unrealistic or sexist. I don’t think wanting a democracy is unrealistic, and I do really, really want a woman president, but her name is Jill Stein.

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ABOUT THIS AUTHOR

Raquel Reichard, Politics & Culture Editor

Raquel is the Politics & Culture Editor atLatina.com and Latina magazine, writing on all things policy, social justice, cultura and health. Formerly at millennial news site Mic, Raquel’s work can also be found at the New York TimesCosmo for Latinas, the Washington Post, the Independent and more. A proud NuyoFloRican chonga, when Raquel’s not talking Latina feminism, racial justice, the “x” in Latinx or the prison industrial complex, she’s going on and on about the Puerto Rican diaspora in Orlando, Fla. Follow her on TwitterInstagram and Snapchat at @RaquelReichard.

Thank you Raquel Reichard & Latina.com

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