White House advisor Van Jones has left the building folks.
He was forced out of his job as the Obama administration’s Special Advisor for Green Jobs, many say, by his own “extremist” views, which over the past six months have been enthusiastically pointed out by conservative web sites and listservs.
Jones released a statement Saturday that explained his decision to resign.
“On the eve of historic fights for health care and clean energy, opponents of reform have mounted a vicious smear campaign against me,” Jones’ statement said. “They are using lies and distortions to distract and divide.”
And they’ve been successful.
Right wing web sites have trumpeted the fact that Jones signed a “9/11 Truth Statement” asking for an investigation on whether the government was behind the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
One Fox News-aligned web site ran seemingly a story everyday on why a “radicalized” Jones should be fired or resign. On many a forum, he was a racist, a communist. To be forthright, Van Jones was simply an activist.
His resignation was the culmination of a well-orchestrated conservative movement. Sure the brother went to college (conservative sites are spreading around a picture of Jones with dread locks, as if that proves anything) and spoke out against the ills of society: That’s what activists’ do, right?
If learning and expressing an opinion about our history — the systematic racism in place, the racially motivated verdicts that still stand, the rampant discrimination -– is what being “radicalized” means then we’re all radicalized.
Jones graduated from University of Tennessee-Martin and Yale Law School in the early 1990s with a determination to make a difference.
What did he do? He simply got involved.
Critics have dug up some of Jones’s college and post-school activities – including founding the Bay Area PoliceWatch, protesting against the Rodney King verdict and getting involved in STORM (Standing Together to Organize a Revolutionary Movement) — to use against him.
In fact, the most quoted phrase on Google when searching for Van Jones is “rowdy nationalist” which he said at one time; interestingly on many conservative sites, that phrase has been morphed into “rowdy black nationalist,” a phrase Jones never said.
So now he’s out, banished after having a picture painted of him as a radicalized black man.
Of course, as always you have to take into consideration who’s holding the brush.
To show your support for Van Jones, some humble but bold expressions have surfaced.
If you’re on Twitter, tweet #supportvan. Also visit http://standwithvan.com/