Anyone who has watched Glenn Beck on Fox News, or listened to his radio program recently has undoubtedly heard the name Van Jones. To say that Beck has made some sensational claims about Mr. Jones would be a gross understatement.
Jones is only one of several "czars", or "special advisors" who are now a part of the Obama administration. According to Beck many of them have connections to communist, socialist, or Marxist organizations. Jones, according to Beck, is an avowed communist, and has some very disturbing views on the direction he believes our country should be heading.
If those claims are true we have a serious situation that demands the immediate attention of every American who loves this country and the principles it was founded upon. If those claims are true we should be demanding some answers from President Obama. Why would such a person would be advising him? Did you know Van Jones held these views when you appointed him? If so, why did you appoint him?
I've never been a person to just believe everything I hear, so I decided to do an investigation of my own. It's amazing how much information you can find about Jones with a simple Google search. I looked at numerous websites, and some are just full of incoherent rants by people who obviously didn't do any investigating of their own. They're just parroting statements they've heard elsewhere, or making up things that can't be verified. Others were quite informative.
First, a little background on Jones. He and his twin sister Angela were born in 1968 in Jackson, Tennessee. His mother was a teacher and his father a junior high school principal. He graduated from high school in 1986. He obtained a B.A. from the University of Tennessee at Martin. Jones then attended Yale Law School. In 1993, Jones earned his J.D. and shortly thereafter moved to San Francisco.
I found some interesting quotes from Jones that some people try to attribute to his college days. While attending a protest after the Rodney King beating by Los Angeles police, Jones was arrested. Speaking about his time in jail Jones said, "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."
Jones also said that "the incident deepened my disaffection with the system and accelerated my political radicalization." He also saud that before the King verdict he was "a rowdy nationalist". By August of that year, he said, "I was a communist." Some websites say he made those statements while still in college. Not so. He said those things in 2002.
A look at any number of blogs includes descriptions of such statements and associations from Jones as "youthful mistakes", it is implied that he has now rejected those views. But these things were said well after Jones graduated. 2002 isn't exactly ancient history. But there are things that are even more recent. I'll get to those.
I spent more than three days researching this article. I could not find a single quote or statement attributed to Jones that would indicate that he no longer considers himself a communist. Some of the organizations he has been a part of since college can be described as activist, even radical, but not communist. Others are undeniably communist and/or Marxist.
After graduating from law school and moving to San Francisco Jones became involved with an organization known as Standing Together to Organize a Revolutionary Movement (STORM), a group committed to revolutionary Marxist politics whose points of unity were revolutionary democracy, revolutionary feminism, revolutionary internationalism, the central role of the working class, urban Marxism, and Third World Communism.
Even the groups Jones has been involved with that don't turn up any communist/socialist/Marxist connections all seem to have one connection. They work for "social justice." What is social justice? Well, in short it's a belief that race should be considered in making almost every decision. A belief that minorities should be given preference to make up for sins of the past. It is a belief that we should take from the rich and give to the poor, more specifically, poor minorities.
Here is what Jones said recently to a group of high school drop outs in New Bedford, Massachusetts. This is from a report by Elizabeth Kolbert in the New Yorker. “They can now put up wind turbines—almost like a windmill, but this is not your mama’s windmill, it’s like a big jet engine sitting up there, and make power,” Jones said. “Somebody’s going to make a billion dollars deploying that technology. I think it should be you."
“They have this thing called solar panels,” he also said. “A solar panel is a piece of glass almost. Right now wealthy people can put that on their homes. And it costs money to put it up there, but once it’s up the sunlight hits it and it turns it into electricity and powers the house. So you’re paying electricity bills, but somebody else is kicking it. Somebody’s going to make a million dollars figuring out a way to get those solar panels made and deployed in our hoods. I think it should be you.”
Wait, shouldn't the people who make money from projects such as this be people who work hard? People who strive to build a better future for themselves? Should we just be handing out these opportunities to people simply because they are "underprivileged" or because they are minorities?
Don't take my word for it. Do a quick Google search on Jones. Look into some of the organizations with which Jones has been associated. You'll see a pattern. Look up some of the quotes from other members of these groups besides Jones. Some of them seem quite disturbing to me, maybe they won't to you. Look at The National Apollo Alliance, Social Venture Network, Rainforest Action Network, Bioneers, Julia Butterfly Hill’s "Circle of Life" organization and Free Press. Don't just look at their websites, seek independent analysis.
Look at the Center for American Progress where Jones was a Senior Fellow, and also at the Institute of Noetic Sciences, where he was a Fellow. He recently was a key speaker at the youth conference PowerShift 2009 in Washington, D.C. in March of this year. Some of the statements Jones made at that conference show he still holds to the beliefs of his past.
Jones said at one point during his speech, "This movement is deeper than a solar panel! Deeper than a solar panel! Don't stop there! Don't stop there! We're gonna change the whole system! We're gonna change the whole thing. We're not gonna put a new battery in a broken system. We want a new system. We want a new system!"
During a recent interview as head of the Ella Baker Center Jones said, "We're really entering a third wave of environmentalism in the United States. The white polluters and the white environmentalists are essentially steering poison into the people of color communities."
Race seems to be a part of nearly everything Jones says. Does anyone really believe that white people are intentionally poisoning minorities? Wasn't the Obama administration supposed to be the beginning of a "post-racial" America? Wasn't Obama going to transcend race? To lead us into something better? Why does he have "special advisors" out there openly attempting to create an even bigger racial divide? Trying to stir up hatred and anger?
During a 2005 interview Jones said, "I'm willing to forgo the cheap satisfaction of the radical pose for the deep satisfaction of radical ends." What exactly does that mean? It says Jones has simply changed his tactics. Instead of publicly describing himself as a communist and being openly radical he will use a more subversive approach. What else could you possibly read into it?
In 2005, following Hurricane Katrina, Jones co-founded a Web-based grassroots organization addressing Black issues called Color of Change. Jones left the group in 2007. Color of Change is the group that recently called for an advertiser boycott of Glenn Beck's afternoon Fox News program. It seems to have had a reverse effect. Since the boycott began Beck's ratings have been at their highest levels ever. You don't go after someone like that unless they're hitting a nerve. Unless they're onto something. Unless you're afraid of the message they're trying to deliver. Unless you want to silence them.
My conclusion after many hours of research is that Beck has not presented a single dishonest statement about Jones. Everything Beck has claimed can be easily found with the smallest amount of effort. The biggest problem I had was deciding what to include in this article and what to leave out. The amount of information out there is mountainous.
We all should indeed be demanding that President Obama address this. There is no place in our government for anyone who overtly espouses tearing down our entire system and replacing it with something else. Their should be no room for a man who wants to worsen racial tensions instead of trying to help heal old wounds. But it goes deeper than that. Based on his statements it would appear that Jones wants to completely change our system of government. And he isn't the only one. When you really look deep at what is happening it is frightening.
I don't see Beck as a racist, conspiracy-theorist lunatic. I see him as someone with a genuine concern for what's going on in our government. I share his concern. It's not a race issue, at least on this side. It's not a Republican or Democrat issue. It's an issue of people who are for, as Barack Obama himself put it just five days before the election, "fundamenatally changing the The United States of America."
September 2, 2:57 PMColumbia Independent ExaminerDarren Pope