Tuesday, June 28, 2011

An Irresponsible Negro and others!

Who is Van Jones?   Well, before about a week ago...I didn't know either...I thought he was some guy I either knew in college or used to hang with out on the street...Truth is...He can't be either...He's about ten years my junior and way smarter than me or anybody I associated with..

You should remember him because I feel he's going to make waves...And one day be either a guy my grandchild will learn about during Black History month along with President Barack Obama and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. or he'll be branded an" irresponsible negro" like Malcolm X, Huey P.Newton, Robert F.Williams and H.Rap Brown and he'll have to take the time to read about him on his own like his grandfather did so many years ago...

Long story short, Anthony K. "Van" Jones  was born  on September 20, 1968. He is an  African-American environmental advocate, civil rights activist, and attorney. Van Jones is a co-founder of three non-profit organizations. In 1996, he founded the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, a California non-governmental organization (NGO) working for alternatives to violence. In 2005, he co-founded Color of Change, an advocacy group for African Americans. In 2007, he founded Green For All, a national NGO dedicated to "building an inclusive green economy strong enough to lift people out of poverty."

His first book, The Green Collar Economy, was released on October 7, 2008, and reached number 12 on the New York Times Best Seller list. In 2008, Time magazine named Jones one of its "Heroes of the Environment". Fast Company called him one of the "12 Most Creative Minds of 2008".

In March 2009  Van Jones was appointed by President Barack Obama to the newly created position of Special Advisor for Green Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation at the White House Council on Environmental Quality, where he worked with various "agencies and departments to advance the administration's climate and energy initiatives, with a special focus on improving vulnerable communities."

In July 2009 he became "embroiled in a controversy" over his past political activities, including a public comment disparaging congressional Republicans, his name appearing on a petition for 911Truth.org, and allegations of association with a Marxist group during the 1990s.

For these issues, Van Jones was heavily criticized by conservatives.Van Jones resigned from the position in early September 2009. "On the eve of historic fights for health care and clean energy, opponents of reform have mounted a vicious smear campaign against me," Jones said in his resignation statement. "They are using lies and distortions to distract and divide." This is why I say he may one day be labeled an "irresponsible negro" That's okay....I like irresponsible negroes like him...I consider myself a member of that club. It's an honor.

Van Jones is currently a senior fellow at the Center For American Progress and a senior policy advisor at Green For All. Jones also holds a joint appointment at Princeton University, as a distinguished visiting fellow in both the Center for African American Studies and in the Program in Science, Technology and Environmental Policy at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.

Okay, so what is he doing that has gotten my attention enough to write a post about him? Well it appears that he is spreading his wings, launching a "Rebuild the Dream" movement, which is primarily aimed at helping thousands of middle-class workers who have lost their jobs, their homes and their livelihoods in the past few years.

The Huffington Post's Lucas Kavner reported that Van Jones stood before a packed house at New York City's performance venue Town Hall, delivering an hour long speech complete with charts, diagrams, videos and graphics. The American people have been "robbed," he said, and we must restore the American dream to this country.
Yeah, well we knew we've been robbed..Some of us anyway know it.

"We are being lied to," Mr. Jones repeated throughout the evening. "We are not broke. We're the richest country in the history of the world." I have kind of suspected as much, but that's just me.

"If the country were actually broke, he said, how come only some of us are truly suffering? (Yeah, how come?)Mr.Jones delivered the fact that 83 percent of U.S. stocks belong to the top 1 percent of Americans, while 21 percent of American children are living below the poverty line.

"There used to be an iron link between pay and productivity," he said, adding a challenge to the rich: "If you do well in America, you should do well by America."

Throughout his speech, many references were also made to the Tea Party movement, as Jones essentially framed "Rebuild the Dream" as a less partisan attempt to organize progressive thinkers into a similar collective. Somebody has been needing to do this for a long time.

"We are not fighting against our opponents; we're fighting for them, too," he said. "This is a moral movement."

He listed the four main lies that are being spread. The first lie: We're broke. The second: Asking the super rich to pay taxes hurts America's economy. Third: Hating on America's government and wrecking America's infrastructure is patriotic. The fourth: We're helpless against Wall Street."

"We are not helpless," he said. "They just want us to shut up, sit down and suffer."
You're preachin to the choir man...
So starting July 5, he's asking Americans to submit any and all ideas for how we can rebuild the American dream.

Van Jones is not pulling any punches in his quest to right the wrongs of America. On the heels of issuing a cease-and-desist letter to Fox News for reporting lies about him, Van Jones has re-emerged as an activist who is taking on the establishment and all of its falsehoods. It is refreshing to see someone speak knowledgeably and passionately about the state of this union and the reality that is being suppressed by the rhetoric around issues like the economy.

Yeah...He'll be labeled an irresponsible negro alright...One my grandson will have to look up and read about on his own!


(Left to right- Bobby Seale, Huey P. Newton, Eldridge Cleaver, Fred Hampton)

  Robert F. Williams,( and his wife) The N.A.A.C.P. activist who took up arms against the Ku Klux Klan in North Carolina and ran them out of town in 1961...an irresponsible negro!

and the most irresponsible negro of them all-

Malcolm X

"Most of my heroes  don't appear on no stamps!" - Chuck D.


Big Mark 243 said...

I am going to catch up on Van Jones... based on what you have shared, I think that I have found a path to being and doing the things that I want to do... after all, if you want change in the world, change begins with the self!

Arlene said...

Keith, I read "The Green Collar Economy" in conjunction with work to help prepare learners for 21st century tech jobs. No wonder it made the best seller list. It's an easy read brimming with valuable information. Our problem is that most of our students lack the requisite skills for green jobs. We're working towards that goal.
I did not know that he was now at Princeton - that hotbed of subversives. Cornel West better watch out! Van supports our president!!


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