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Former “Green Jobs Czar” Van Jones

Posted By John Perazzo On October 16, 2009 @ 9:53 am In DTN Profiles | 1 Comment

For the entire Van Jones profile, click here.

 

Selected highlights from the Van Jones profile:

On March 10, 2009, President Obama named Van Jones to be his so-called “Green Jobs Czar.” Amid mounting controversy, however, Jones resigned his post on Labor Day weekend last month….

After earning his BA degree, Jones abandoned his plan to become a journalist and instead enrolled at Yale Law School, where, as an angry black separatist, he first arrived wearing combat boots and carrying a Black Panther bookbag. “If I’d been in another country, I probably would have joined some underground guerrilla sect,” he reflects. “But as it was, I went on to an Ivy League law school…. I wasn’t ready for Yale, and they weren’t ready for me.” …

Jones says he became politically radicalized in the aftermath of the deadly April 1992 Los Angeles riots which erupted shortly after four L.A. police officers who had beaten the now-infamous Rodney King were exonerated in court. “I was a rowdy nationalist on April 28th,” says Jones, “and then the verdicts came down on April 29th. By August, I was a communist.” …

In early May 1992, after the L.A. riots had ended, Jones was dispatched by Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights executive director Eva Patterson to serve as a legal monitor at a nonviolent protest (against the Rodney King verdicts) in San Francisco. Local police, fearful that the event would devolve into violence, stopped the proceedings and arrested many of the participants, including all the legal monitors. Jones spent a short time in jail, and all charges against him were subsequently dropped.

Recalling his brief incarceration, Jones says: “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.” …

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 nonwhite minorities worldwide. He became a leading member of Standing Together to Organize a Revolutionary Movement (STORM), a Bay-Area Marxist-Maoist collective …

Jones helped organize an October 1999 rally in Oakland, California, calling for a retrial on behalf of convicted cop-killer Mumia Abu Jamal….

After [2000], Jones decided to change his political tactics. Specifically, he toned down the overt hostility and defiant rage that he previously had worn as badges of honor. “Before, we would fight anybody, any time,” he said in 2005. “No concession was good enough; we never said ‘Thank you.’ Now, I put the issues and constituencies first. I’ll work with anybody, I’ll fight anybody if it will push our issues forward…. I’m willing to forgo the cheap satisfaction of the radical pose for the deep satisfaction of radical ends.”‘ …

In the early 2000s, Jones and STORM were active in the anti-Iraq War demonstrations organized by International ANSWER, a front group for the Marxist-Leninist Workers World Party….

In a January 2008 speech, Jones said: “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 framework.” …

[In February 2009] Jones made clear his desire to incrementally socialize, by stealth, the U.S. economy….

 

For the entire Van Jones profile, click here.


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