What’s The Deal: Van Jones

You may have seen a brief notice about Van Jones resignation and wonder what is the big deal.  This is a quick summary for you:

Van Jones, Green Jobs Special Advisor to the President resigned in the dead of night of a long holiday weekend, Saturday, Sept 4, 2009 at midnight.   The timing is interesting, so the news of his resignation just quietly goes away.

How Did the Resignation Come About?

Glenn Beck, FOX News,  began showing Van Jones background on his FOX Cable show and asking who is this person and why is a communist a  Special Advisor to the President.

Beck also called President Obama racist when Obama stirred up controversy over the arrest of Henry Gates, a friend of his, by Cambridge police.  Obama stated–I don’t know the facts, Professor Gates is a friend of mine, but the Cambridge police acted “stupidly”.

Color of Change (founded by Van Jones)  then starts a boycott against Glenn Beck going after his advertisers, because of his racist comments.

Beck’s audience and listeners start a Support Glenn movement to apply pressure to the advertisers that a boycott works both ways.

Beck, on his show, asks the White House directly–I know you are watching, tell me I am wrong about this person,  I hope I am wrong, but tell me I am wrong.  The White House calls to tell him—quit calling him a Czar, he is a Special Advisor.  <– WOW, pretty incredible.

Beck continues daily over a couple of weeks to provide more data and video about Jones.  The last straw is the Jones video of calling Republicans a**holes and then the truther petition that Jones signed in 2004.  Jones apologized on Thursday, Sept 3.

Columnists and some members of Congress begin to ask for Jones to resign.

Very little of this is shown in main stream media.

Jones resigns Saturday at midnight.

Van Jones Background

  • Graduated from Yale with Law degree
  • Multiple awards and honors, such as Time Magazine–Environmental Hero in 2008
  • On the board of many organizations and Senior Fellow of Center for American Progress
  • Arrested and jailed at the 1992 Los Angeles riots.  Van Jones stated “I met all these young radical people of color – I mean really radical, communists and anarchists. And it was, like, This is what I need to be a part of…I spent the next ten years of my life working with a lot of those people I met in jail, trying to be a revolutionary…. I was a rowdy nationalist on April 28th, and then the verdicts came down on April 29th. By August, I was a communist.”
  • Founded STORM–Standing Together to Organize a Revolutionary Movement, the following items are directly from the 53 page Reclaiming Revolution, history, summation and lessons of STORM.
    • STORM existed between September 1994 to December 2002 (page 2)
    • Political commitment to fundamental ideas of Marxism-Leninism.  (page 14)
    • “All of STORM’s members developed a basic understanding of and commitment to revolutionary Marxist policies with a particular emphasis on the historical experiences of third world communist movements.” (page 14)
    • 1999 protests against WTO in Seattle (page 25)
    • 9/11/2001 candle-light vigil for solidarity with Arab and Muslim Americans, mourning for the dead in NYC and Washington, and victims of US imperialism. (page 45)
    • Began a work group:
      • WORC-Workers Organized to Rid us of Capitalism (page 17)
      • WORC studied Unions (page 18)
    • Found Ella Baker for Human Rights Center (formerly Police Watch org)  (page 9)   One of their activities was to try to free a death row prisoner, Mumia Abu-Jamal, convicted of killing a police officer.
  • Signed 2004 petition in support of the “9/11 truther” movement, which believed that Bush administration knew or had connection to Sept 11 attacks.
  • Co-founder of Color of Change, goal is to strengthen Black America’s political voice.
  • 2/11/2009 called Republicans a**holes   

What Does White House Know About Jones

  • Not confirmed or approved by Congress like the cabinet
  • Recruited into the White House by Senior Advisor, Valerie Jarrett, for his creative ideas, energy and enthusiasm.  “We” have been watching him for as long as he was active in Oakland.  Video from Aug 12, 2009 Netroots Nation Convention. 
  • Here is a longer version that includes Jarrett and excerpts of Van Jones speeches/talks, what he thinks.  He basically wants to change our entire system via economic justice, social justice, environmental justice.  
  • Now you are probably wondering, who is Valerie Jarrett, Senior Adviser to President Obama?   View Katie Couric interview with Jarrett Aug 11, 2008.   She has known the Obama’s for 17 years and closest friends, often serves as Obama’s surrogate when he can’t attend meetings.

Certainly brings up some questions.

  • How does the White House spin this?
  • How can a person with these views be an advisor to the president?
  • What happened to confirmation and vetting?
  • Does the current administration hold these viewpoints as well?
  • Or,  is the current administration just inept running the executive branch of our government?
  • Does the cabinet really matter?
  • Where is the main stream media?
  • Is the media really providing news to us or lulling us to sleep?

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