The White House Green Jobs Czar certainly has "unique" views on racial justice the environment.  During the following interview in EON's "Deep Democracy Interview Series," Van Jones--who was then-serving as the founder/director of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights--describes his idea for "Green Jobs, Not Jails," a program designed to bring together the environmentalist, "environmental justice," and criminal justice communities. 

In the interview, Jones describes his "moral" plan as "taking money away from 'incarceraters' and the polluters," abandoning an "addiction to punishment" and money from prison lobbyists, and fighting against the "military petroleum complex" running this country to usher in a "new deal coalition for a new century." 



1:02: We're apparently entering a "third wave of environmentalism in the United States."  The first two "waves" Jones describes are Theodore Roosevelt's progressive efforts in conservation and Rachel Carson's Silent Spring from 1963--a book which the successfully argued for bans on DDT, a chemical (Jones calls it "poison") formerly used to fight mosquitos and the spread of diseases like Malaria.

1:40: Jones claims, "The white polluters and the white environmentalists are essentially steering poison into the people of color communities because they don't have a racial justice frame."

2:35: Jones says, "Left to itself this new third wave of environmentalism could become eco-apartheid--the ecological ‘haves’ could just get more and the ecological ‘have nots’ could just get less and less."

8:50: "Let's start taking money away from the incarerators and the polluters and giving money to the community-based people who are trying to bring forward new jobs, clean energy and stabilizing neighborhoods so we don't have to have crime and over-incarceration." (I'm really sure people commit crimes and go to jail because the economy is not green enough.)

9:10: Jones says we can have an "ecological U-turn" and it has to “have four wheels on it”--funds going to labor, because that’s where the good jobs are; to "progressive businesses," because they’re the ones who are innovative; to environmentalists; and to the “racial justice folks” who need new work and opportunities.

9:58: Jones says that "The 'Gulag economy' (corrections system) is overbuilt, and the 'green economy' is underbuilt. ... We want to get the prisoners and the prison guards out of there and put up solar panels and things that actually heal the community.   We want to take the money that the incarcerators are spending hand-over-fist, on essentially enriching themselves, to actually help safe, healthy communities."

(For those not familiar, the "gulag economy" is actually another term that refers to forced slave labor camps of the former Soviet Union's penitentiary system, where incarcerated penal laborers worked to support the State's economy.  Yeah... JUST LIKE America's prisons, minus the free cable tv.)

11:19: "We need environmentalism that is relevant to people of color."

In a City Journal article entitled "Green Hustler," author Max Shulz, a senior fellow with the Manhattan Institute sums up Jones' work as a "professional community activist," saying:

[Jones] has rocketed to fame by melding racial grievance and claims of economic injustice with the increasingly faddish orthodoxy of environmentalism. His glibness and comfort in front of a camera expose a sound-bite unseriousness, an inner-city hustle with a green patina.