Van Jones is one of the most important voices in the White House for our planet and a green economy. Perhaps it is not surprising then that fearful people, who are invested in the status quo are attacking him. Glen Beck and other disciples of propaganda (repeat a lie enough and people will believe it) are going after him viciously. Here's a letter explaining the issue from my dear friends John and Ocean Robbins. I hope you will read it and do what you can to support one of our Real Life Heroes. We need to defend those who are standing up for saving our planet and our species.
Van Jones, a man whose life and work are committed to building a new green economy while generating jobs for some of the people who need them most, is under attack from the right wing attack machine. For those of us who have been touched by Van's life and message, now is the time to stand up for him, for the green jobs agenda, and for President Obama.
Van is the special advisor on green jobs for the White House Council on Environmental Quality. The right wing echo chamber seems to be all about divisive, negative politics, and having lost the White House last year, they are using familiar, negative politics to go after an African-American surrogate for Obama, Van Jones.
It seems like a kind of high-tech witch hunt. A newly desperate right wing is targeting a rising African American visionary who works in the White House, saying he’s a Communist. In fact, he’s a best-selling author whose work, and role in the White House, are all about using capitalism to help people and the planet. He’s been recognized by the World Economic Forum as a social entrepreneur, and his life is dedicated to creating private sector jobs that make the world a better place and improve America's energy security. Glenn Beck, Fox News, Ann Coulter, Sean Hannity, and Bill O'Reilly are saying he’s a dangerous radical extremist. In fact, he’s a kind, warm person who has built bridges across racial divides, class divides, and political divides. Mr. Beck loves to mention the fact that Van Jones was arrested twice. Again though, Beck never tells his audience that in neither case was Van Jones ever charged with any crime. Furthermore, Beck neglects to mention the fact that Van Jones actually won a lawsuit and monetary compensation based on the illegality of his arrest in one case.
Van Jones is someone worth defending. And for those of us who know his courageous spirit, his loving heart, and his wisdom, now is the time to speak. We are urging you to post on blogs, to send emails to lists, to contact or submit stories for media outlets, to comment on internet news articles, and to use any other mediums you have to tell the truth about Van Jones as you know him. In the next few days, we can expect a continued roar of negative publicity, out-of-context quotes, half-truths presented as "fact", and the continued vilification of a man whose life and work have inspired millions with visions of a socially just, environmentally sustainable, and economically robust economy. If you know the truth about Van, please help get the word out.
Feel free to forward this message widely, or to use any words in it that you find helpful if you wish to reach out to your own lists.
Yours for healthy people and a healthy planet,
John Robbins, author, Diet for a New America and founder of EarthSave International
Ocean Robbins, author, The Power of Partnership and founder of YES!
PS -- A few potentially useful links are here:
A former employer who knows Van well corrects the record
Thomas Friedman's New York Times article about Van's work and message
Van sharing his message on the Colbert Report (they call this a communist radical?)
Article exploring some of Glenn Beck's "facts" on Van Jones