Monday, September 7, 2009


Van Jones Had to Resign Because He Was Black

I can't believe I am so naive that I didn't see this coming. I guess that shows how deep-seated my bigotry is. Anyway Carl Pope, Executive Director of the Sierra Club, has now explained:
Thursday evening I got worried. Friday I put in a call to ask Van Jones how to help. Saturday I started writing a blog post, which would have appeared this morning...But on Saturday night, Van resigned, and this morning I was sick at heart. Collectively we -- the environmental community, progressives, and the Obama administration -- blew this, and we let our cause, our president, and Van Jones down.

This was a lynch mob and, when it started forming a month ago, we didn't take it seriously enough. When I saw the first Glenn Beck piece on Van Jones and the Apollo Alliance as the new vast left-wing conspiracy, I could not take it seriously...I assumed it would blow over.

Well, that was a mistake. So was the decision by the White House to treat the initial attacks not as part of an assault on the president but, instead, to allow them to be viewed as being about Van Jones. What we underestimated was the power of the fact that both Jones and the Barack Obama are black. Yes, the hysteria was about politics -- I don't think Fox News really cares about Jones's ethnicity -- but it was enabled by race. Calling Bush a "crack-head" is seen by a large part of America as worse than calling him "addict-in-chief" because crack is not just a drug -- it is a drug used largely by black people. It reminds those Americans who are still uncomfortable with Barack Obama that we have a black president.
This is really annoying. The same people who supposedly hate Obama (and Van Jones) because of their skin color, also adored Colin Powell (before he turned on the war) and Clarence Thomas. The same supposed bigots who blindly listen to Rush Limbaugh, also tuned in with great joy last Friday when the guest host was Walter Williams and he (as usual) had Thomas Sowell call in for an interview. And I think they like Condoleeza Rice a whole lot more than Joe Biden.

Oh, I know, that stuff doesn't count because those people aren't really black, since they are Republicans and/or libertarians. And come to think of it, it doesn't count either if a corporate boss promotes somebody who was literally born in Africa and speaks with a British accent, and thinks Mozart is devil music.

Let's make sure you understand, this isn't about objective behavior (like cursing) this is about cultural imperialism:
What was the reactionary right up to on Friday? They sent operatives out to San Quentin prison to obtain videotapes of workshops that Van Jones conducted there while he was working to help prisoners transition back to society. (The inmates wouldn't let them get their hands on them -- they knew, before I did, how serious this was.) They were cuing up video clips from teenagers that Jones taught in the Oakland ghetto in 2000. If you watch the infamous "a**holes" video carefully, it's clear that what Jones was saying was that Republicans play hardball better than Democrats, and that we need to start playing by their rules. He said it, though, in the language of his own community -- and that, at the end of the day, was his crime. He spoke to and was of a part of an America that Fox and the reactionary right would like to put back on the plantation or pretend is not part of our nation.
Last point: I fully admit that if a white Democrat were in power and doing the exact same things as Obama, that many of Obama's harshest critics would not be quite as scandalized. But that admission is a far cry from saying, "Van Jones had to resign because he and Obama are black." Give me a break.

Middle-class white people like me obviously don't really know what it's like to have shopkeepers assume you're a criminal, and to have to worry that a cop will shoot you for no reason. I grant that, and man that must suck. So when some loud mouth white guys say that black people should quit belly-aching all the time, those guys are idiots and don't know what they're talking about.

But it can swing the other way too. The furor over Van Jones was because he claimed he had become a communist. The mainstream media and politicians channeled the outrage into irrelevant a-hole remarks because that's what they do, they make sure the American people don't think too hard about what's going on with the federal government. This has very very little to do with Van Jones' skin color.

So I take it. you don't think they went after Nixon because he was Quaker?
As you know it's all about the narrative. This blogger even lied to make it fit the his narrative.

"This is about politics, but it is empowered by race. If you doubt that, consider that Fox and Glenn Beck have been after Jones for a month -- but only since Beck began losing advertisers over his accusations that Obama was a racist.

A lie: Beck went after Van Jones before the boycott and Color of Change most likely went after him due the expose on Van Jones.

Exactly backwards! ... but not if your goal is to deceive.
The creepiest thing about all this is that the blog comment is from an alleged mainstream guy, the Executive Director of the Sierra Club. It’s truly scary how many alleged mainstream institutions have been taken over by commies and noodle-brains. Let’s look at the United Methodist Church:

"Opposition to reform [Obamacare] has transmogrified into something far deeper, far more elemental, though. Anger appears to be its salient feature. Racism and fear is at the core of the anger."

Jim Winkler, General Secretary, General Board of Church & Society, UMC

"Last year, General Conference also adopted a resolution that supports a U.S. single-payer system. That resolution, #3201 in the 2008 Book of Resolutions, urges United Methodists to exert influence through all structures and means 'to connectionally advocate and fervently lobby the federal government for the adoption and implementation of a totally nonprofit health-insurance system, a single-payer system administered by the federal government.'

Bob Murphy is right. How can anyone be taken down by Glenn Beck? These liberals are amazing. They know nothing about anything and they don’t even know how to conduct an intelligent argument. Ever. Apparently, all they can do is shout "racist racist racist".


Which means we'll win. Right?
Bob, I can`t believe that you are so naive as to not be aware that bigotry is rife in the US, colors the perceptions over many people across the political spectrum and that guys like Beck - who only said Obama is a "racist" with a "deep-seated hatred of white people" - deliberately fuel it.

Bigotry has been growing in the Republican party for some time, not the least in its rural wings (ever hear of the "southern strategy"?). Hear about the Idaho Governor candidate who recently cracked a joke about buying "Obama tags" to go along with the wolf tags (for the new wolf hunt) that Idaho has just started selling?

Open your eyes, man.

Is there one sentence in my post that you think is false? You think Van Jones had to resign because he was black?

If so, then show me:

(a) Another Obama appointee of equal stature who described him/herself as a communist. (Carol Browner is close, but she was technically just listed by the socialist website; as far as I know we don't have a quote of her discussing her conversion.)

(b) That no other black people fill posts in the Obama administration. (I.e. why do they still have their jobs if whitey can't stand it.)

Did you read the part where I acknlowedged that black people get shot by cops?
Bob, what was right about your post is that there are plenty of Americans for whom skin color matters very little (a good thing in my view), but since we are essentially tribal, there are many for whom it matters a great deal, and very few for whom it means nothing. This is true all across the political spectrum.

"You think Van Jones had to resign because he was black?"

Of course there`s no simple yes-no answer here. I think that there are plenty of people who are extremely uncomfortable with Obama`s skin color, and I think that Van Jones` was a significant factor in the ease that which outrage was stirred up and took hold. I imagine that a poll on the perceptions of people across an array of ethnicities would provide useful information.

What do I think is false in your post? Well, let`s look at this:

"The furor over Van Jones was because he claimed he had become a communist [and] irrelevant a-hole remarks.

(Did he actually claim he had become a communist? I need to look more closely.)

You are making the simple mistake of overstatement, and confusing your own perceptions with those of others. It`s very difficult to get into the heads of others, but we know that tribal perceptions are rife - even among those who could insist on a stack of Bibles that for them it mattered not one whit.

"The mainstream media and politicians channeled the outrage into irrelevant a-hole remarks because that's what they do, they make sure the American people don't think too hard about what's going on with the federal government."

I agree w/ most of this, but if VJ had been white, would there have been even half the reaction? Look at Browner, as you say.

Further, you ignore the very deliberate ways that pundits seek to improve their own standing, political parties jockey for advantage, and rent-seekers all seek ways to influence government decisions via tempests such as these.
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