The Van Jones incident boiled to the surface and exploded very suddenly. When I first heard the sound bites and the pundits, I doubted their veracity. I thought to myself, there is no way that this man is a self-confessed communist. I hoped that the brilliant Yale Law School graduate did not really have a racial “chip” on his shoulder. Unfortunately, as I did just a little research on Van Jones’ life and times, I quickly discovered I was wrong.
Now that he is gone, the average person may think that the controversy should be over. Not so. The ideological bias he brought to his job - not simply Jones’ past problems - are a part of my ongoing concerns. His official title was Special Adviser for Green Jobs at the Council on Environmental Quality. Jones’ unofficial, personal mission seemed to be to recast the “extreme green” movement as a “people’s revolution” instead of the elitist movement that it is. In his book, The Green Collar Economy, he admits that it is “not yet fashionable” to be concerned about social justice and equity in the radical green movement. Nonetheless, seeks to cast a vision that mixes Marxism with green consciousness. As he preaches a new green gospel, he distorts his movement’s elitist roots by attempting to shroud his agenda in civil rights imagery.
Here is a paragraph from Jones’ book:
“Living mainly in Hollywood, Silicon Valley, the San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle, and Boston, many of the architects of the green economy have photographs of Mohandas Ghandi on their walls. They consider themselves tolerant and open-minded people. Almost all of them, if asked, would confess to a deep respect for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the civil rights movement.”
As I read these pages, I wanted to know who the architects of this movement were. I quickly realized that the book was designed to become the manifesto of Jones’ movement. Look at the list of the book’s endorsers: Al Gore, Gavin Newsome , Carl Pope, Thomas Friedman, Tavis Smiley, Senator Tom Daschle, Larry Brilliant, Arrianna Huffington, and Nancy Pelosi. To top it all off, the forward of the book was written by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. This list of supporters is a veritable “who’s who” of powerful liberal activists.
Bishop Harry Jackson is chairman of the High Impact Leadership Coalition and senior pastor of Hope Christian Church in Beltsville, MD, and co-authored, Personal Faith, Public Policy [FrontLine; March 2008] with Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council.