Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Doubles Down On Renewable Energy Link To Racial Justice

Tony Rivera

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez took to Twitter on Friday to counter the sea of criticism she's been facing over her bold declaration that the government's commitment to an ambitious 'Green New Deal' would, in part, amount to the deliverance of racial justice in America.

Earlier this week, The Hill cited Ocasio-Cortez as having challenged lawmakers to embrace a sweeping environmental economic agenda as "the civil rights movement of our generation." The quote was pulled from remarks she made during the Nation's 'Solving Our Climate Crisis' national town hall featuring author Bill McKibben, actress Shailene Woodley, and Sen. Bernie Sanders. In the days since her Roosevelt-inspired vision made the rounds, more has been made of the semantics of the congresswoman-elect's speech than the actual program she was pushing.

In various tweets gathered by Yahoo Lifestyle, opponents question Ocasio-Cortez's intelligence for tying racism to environmental policy. Much of the blowback has been triggered by a portion of her speech -- that went viral via a video clip -- which shows the 29-year-old Bronx native predicting that not only is the creation of a thriving green industry inevitable by way of 100 percent renewable energy, but that it will serve as a vehicle to "establish economic, social and racial justice in the United States" as well.

Ocasio-Cortez's approach to the environment as a social issue, and one that is especially critical for the racially disenfranchised, is for the most part in line with that which has been taken on by the larger Democratic Socialist movement. In the racial justice section of Sen. Sanders' website, for example, it is recognized that "People of color disproportionately experience a daily assault on their health and environment."

"Communities of color are the hardest hit by air and water pollution from industrial factories, power plants, incinerators, chemical waste and lead contamination from old pipes and paint," Sen. Sanders writes. "At the same time, they lack access to parks, gardens and other recreational green space."