So first thing is, I’m out here, not as an activist. I’m out here just as a community member that just loves you. I love you; I love your legacy; I love what you bring to the table; I love what you don’t bring to the table; I love what you plan to do and what you have already started; and so that’s why I’m here. To make sure that you, first of all, know you’re loved – because if we don’t know that we’re loved how do we love the rest of humanity? How do we love our planet? How we love people that don’t look like us?
We all know that climate change directly and disproportionally affects low-income communities and communities of color. As it relates to healthcare, I need healthcare for my kids, I want healthcare for your kids. As a nurse, I know what that looks like, when you don’t have it or when it’s inadequate. Yet, still my community, these communities of color, people that look like me, we are the most affected. And so with that, I think about lead, and I think about the fact that in St. Louis city 2.4 – 2.4 times the number of white children, and black children in this community test positive for lead. And the fact that 10 times the number of white children in St. Louis City are going to the hospital, going to the emergency room, for asthma – and if you’re not asthmatic you may not understand.
We all want our children to graduate from high school and do well, but when it came time for my children to graduate, one thing that I had to think about was how many times were we out of school for asthma? Is that going to be a problem with us trying to graduate? How many times have our children had to get out of and be out of school because they’re dealing with the effects of lead? The inattentiveness and the hyperactivity and they’re being kicked out, and we end up in a school to prison pipeline situation.
Research shows that communal violence increases when the heat increases. When the heat increases. So while we’re talking about a safe city, we got to attribute that to climate change, a lot of it, to climate change.
So, I’m talking to communities; to women of color; I’m talking black and brown communities; I’m talking to low-income communities; of why we need to pay attention to this issue. Our ecosystem is suffering. Our universe is being decimated if we don’t do something about it. We need a Green New Deal, we need better infrastructure. When we talk about the Green New Deal, and money coming for infrastructure; we talk about all the jobs, the millions of jobs that will come with this. Let me tell you something: I want you to, next time you drive down highway 70, hop on the express, in that express lane, and you’ll see the crumbling columns all starting from Shreve and going all the way up to downtown. They’re not in the county – they’re all the way up St. Louis City. And so what happens if we get a little bit of a shake of an earthquake? What happens if we get a little bit of flooding? Those columns get to fall down right in our communities – so I want you to pay attention. We need a climate justice for our community, and we’re gonna go out and get it.
Talk to people that don’t look like you, and let’s save our community. Thank you.
Bush, C. [Cori Bush]. (2020, May 12) Cori Bush at the Climate Strike Rally [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mWRL4rJc-XM]. Retrieved on February 9, 2022 from https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuMFHhUo9WSTenB_kALmcog.