Van Jones, Barack Obama’s czar of green jobs, handed in his resignation on a quiet Labor Day weekend, on the eve of two of President Obama’s speeches, after talk show host Glenn Beck targeted the civil rights activist for attention.
Jones, an eloquent and charismatic spokesperson who, last year alone, won high profile recognition as one of Times magazine 100 most influential people, considered himself “radical” as a young man. Since then, he adopted a pro-capitalist perspective focused on elevating the working-class poor through the employment in green jobs. Then, in 2004, Jones, along with many other Progressives, signed a petition calling for a public investigation of the events of 9/11. The controversy regarding the petition surrounds the 9/11 Truthers, considered broadly to be a conspiracy group who suspect a degree of federal administration culpability in the attacks of that fateful September.
Using these elements of Jone’s life, Beck, with McCarthian hysteria, decried Obama for having “invited” a “radical” “Communist” into the White House. To those of us leaning towards progressive values, terms like “radical,” “communist,” and “socialist” are not scary, but a part of the glossary of words, including “libertarianism” “patriotism” and “capitalism” with which we can evaluate a government’s responsiveness to its people.
In this report, The Young Turks, a progressive news/op ed channel, air a “controversial” piece of video which Fox News and Beck has used to hammer Jones’ reputation. While at a public forum, a progressive in the audience asked Jones why Republicans were able to see their policies enacted but Democrats were not able to assert their policies despite holding the majority power in the two houses as well as the executive. Jones’ asserted that the Republican party gets its policies through by sheer brute force that Progressives have to stand unyeildingly and that a man named Barack Hussein Obama could not do that for them. He called the Republicans a dirty word but also applied the same term to himself and suggested that we all toughen up.
Referring to the wailing Republicans, Young Turk host, Cenk Uygur said “They’re not interested in being polite.”
Brave New Nation presents this background interview of Carl Pope, Executive Director of the Sierra Club and Van Jones at the Ella Baker Center. Jones describes the fight he pursues as “not left vs. right but right vs. wrong.”
Huffington Post: “Thank you Glenn Beck”
Fox News: “Obama ‘Green Jobs’ Adviser Van Jones Resigns Amid Controversy”