Update: The NAACP has just released a statement reiterating their continued support of Van Jones.
Update 2: Highlighting the absurdity of this witch hunt, conservative blog Little Green Footballs is now disputing the chargest against Van Jones. When Little Green Footballs defends a liberal against attacks from conservatives, that really says something.
On the surface, their complaint centers around Jones' background and statements he previously made as an activist. Specifically, conservative blogs and media outlets have seized on a harshly-worded petition Jones signed in 2004 demanding further investigations into the 9/11 attacks. Jones has clarified since then, saying of the petition that "it certainly does not reflect my views, now or ever." But this is little more than the right-wing manufactured faux-outrage du jour. Beck began aggressively going after Jones in the wake of a campaign targeting Beck's advertisers -- organized by Color of Change -- an advocacy organization Jones founded prior to taking a position in the administration.
Sadly, the Obama administration appears to be wavering in its support of Jones. This is not acceptable. A decision to throw one of their most charismatic communicators under the bus in a vain attempt to placate a racist witch-hunt would be both foolish and ineffective. Van Jones is exactly the type of principled and effective leader we need more of in government -- not less. President Obama should make a strong public statement as soon as possible, reiterating his full support for green jobs advisor Van Jones.
1. Show your support for Van Jones by using the #supportvan hashtag on Twitter. Your tweet will be displayed in the grid on StandWithVan.com. Here is a sample Tweet you can cut and paste: "I stand with Van Jones: http://standwithvan.com #supportvan #vanjones"
3. Become a Fan of Van Jones on Facebook.
Statements of Support
Brad Johnson at The Wonk Room writes:
White House green jobs advisor Van Jones is under attack from Fox News as an "avowed radical revolutionary communist" and from ABC News as a "truther" with a "history of incendiary and provocative remarks." In an attempt to assassinate the character of Van Jones, the right-wing media are distorting his past political activism and cherry-picking Jones's critiques of the pollution and injustice that still haunt this nation. However, Jones's true record is one of turning away from anger and finding hope, abandoning division and seeking consensus.
David Roberts at Grist writes:
This is all about bitch-slap politics. If Jones drops out, think Beck or the right-wing slime industry will stop? Think they won't keep going after Carol Browner, John Holdren, and the rest--twisting and attacking every word and gesture from the Obama administration? "Uncovering" people as wildly caricatured leftists? Faux-populist fear merchants are like sharks; they have to keep moving, keep eating. There's no sating them. Letting Beck bag Jones would be like chum in the water.
Fox's Beck has turned his attention from President Barack Obama to increasingly vitriolic and deceptive attacks on a White House staff member, Van Jones, who has responsibilities related to Green Jobs. Beck's attacks are deceptive and despicable, on multiple levels, and demean not just Jones, but American democracy and the very concept of moving forward toward a more prosperous America, for both the nation and its citizens.
read #VanJones' "The Green Collar Economy" last year & was mesmerized. It's a brilliant plan of action & I #supportVan fully. #green #p2 #fb
"Van Jones and Mayor Newsom are good friends and the mayor stands by him," Newsom spokesman Nathan Ballard said Friday
But we know this for sure: If Beck succeeds in damaging Jones and Color of Change -- a decision that's largely in the hands President Obama -- you can count on this being the start of a fast and furious conservative witch hunt aimed at picking off every other progressive leader. What they'll learn is that this kind of minor smear is all it takes to turn liberals against each other -- and we'll effectively be in the position of letting the craziest people on the right wing decide for us who our leaders will be.
Joseph Romm of Climate Progress writes:
I am a big fan of green jobs czar clean energy jobs handyman Van Jones (see "Van Jones argues we can -- and must -- fight poverty and pollution at the same time" and "Must Read: Van Jones and the English Language"). The right wing hates the clean energy jobs message (see "Department of Energy eviscerates right-wing Spanish 'green jobs' study") so it's not surprising they are going after Van Jones.
The Real Van Jones
Follow Josh Nelson on Twitter: www.twitter.com/josh_nelson