We’ve all heard of Van Jones, the former “Green Jobs Czar”. I, for one, have heard a lot about him but never bothered to look into his background, until now. He’s an interesting fellow.
During the Rodney King trial in 1992 Jones was a Yale Law School student (of course, what else would he be) doing an internship for the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights (LCCR) in San Fransisco, which viewed the United States as an irredeemably racist nation.
Jones states, “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.”
He wrote an essay at the time which included, “After the [Rodney King] verdict, the pro-establishment folks were horrified as the rioting drove home a single truth: if “They” can get enough people out into the streets, “They” can do whatever they want to do.”
“Thus San Francisco’s Dukakis-backing, tofu-eating, Greenpeace-loving, sandal-wearing citizenry breathed a sigh of relief when the mayor snuffed out everyone’s rights and declared martial law.”
He sure did love you white liberals, eh. Interesting thought in the context of today’s “people in the streets”. My how things never change.
In 1993, Jones relocated to San Francisco, where he helped establish Bay Area Police Watch, a hotline and lawyer-referral service that began as a project of LCCR.
In 1996 he founded the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, which, claimed that the American criminal-justice system is infested with racism.
By the late 1990s, Jones was a committed Marxist-Leninist-Maoist who viewed police officers as the arch-enemies of black people, and who loathed capitalism for allegedly exploiting non white minorities worldwide. He became a leading member of Standing Together to Organize a Revolutionary Movement (STORM), a now-defunct Bay Area Marxist-Maoist collective that was staffed by members of various local nonprofits, a number of whom had ties to the Ella Baker Center.
In the early 2000s, Jones and STORM were active in anti-Iraq War demonstrations organized by International ANSWER, a front group for the Marxist-Leninist Workers World Party. STORM also had ties to the South African Communist Party and it revered Amilcar Cabral, the late Marxist revolutionary leader (of Guinea-Bissau and the Cape Verde Islands) who lauded Lenin as “the greatest champion of the national liberation of the peoples.” (In 2006 Van Jones would name his own son “Cabral” — in Amilcar Cabral’s honor.)
During his time with STORM, Jones collaborated with many communist groups including, the Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism (CCDS), a Communist Party USA splinter group, in the early 1990s. Elizabeth “Betita” Martinez continues to sit on the CCDS advisory board alongside other communists such as Angela Davis & Timuel Black (who served on Barack Obama’s 2004 Senate campaign committee). Martinez is also a board member of the Movement for a Democratic Society, the parent organization of Progressives for Obama.
In 2005 Jones and the Ella Baker Center produced the “Social Equity Track” for the United Nations’ World Environment Day celebration, a project that eventually would evolve into the Baker Center’s Green-Collar Jobs Campaign — “a job-training and employment pipeline providing ‘green pathways out of poverty’ for low-income adults in Oakland.” I’m sure that worked out great. I know, when I think green, I think Oakland.
Soon after attending the Clinton Global Initiative in September 2007, Jones launched “Green For All,” a non-governmental organization “dedicated to building an inclusive green economy strong enough to lift people out of poverty … advocating for local, state and federal commitment to job creation, job training, and entrepreneurial opportunities in the emerging green economy – especially for people from disadvantaged communities.”
In 2008 Jones published his first book, The Green Collar Economy, which focused on environmental and economic issues. The book received favorable reviews from such notables as Al Gore, Nancy Pelosi, Laurie David, Winona LaDuke, environmentalist Paul Hawken, and NAACP President/CEO Ben Jealous. There’s a shocker, huh.
In March of 2009, Obama appointed Jones his Green Jobs Czar.
In a July 2009 interview with Newsweek magazine, Jones, said he could not explain exactly what a “green job” is:
“Well, we still don’t have a unified definition, and that’s not unusual in a democracy. It takes a while for all the states and the federal government to come to some agreement. But the Department of Labor is working on it very diligently. Fundamentally, it’s getting there, but we haven’t crossed the finish line yet.”
I’ll define it. A green job is a government-subsidized job. That’s it.
So, there we have it; the history of a radical communist, racist. But at least he’s green.
Attribution: Free Republic