From David Horowitz's
PROFILE: VAN JONES
Born in 1968 in rural West Tennessee, Van Jones earned a B.A. degree from the University of Tennessee at Martin and then attended Yale Law School. During his years at Yale, Jones served as an intern with the San Francisco-based Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights (LCCR), which views the United States as an irredeemably racist nation and "champions the legal rights of people of color, poor people, immigrants and refugees, with a special commitment to African-Americans."
Jones says that he first 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 infamous Rodney King were exonerated in court. "I was a rowdy nationalist on April 28th," says Jones, who is black, "and then the verdicts came down on April 29th. By August, I was a communist."
Jones was arrested during the L.A. riots and spent a short time in jail. "I met all these young radical people of color," he recalls, "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."
After earning his Juris Doctorate from Yale in 1993, Jones relocated to San Francisco, where he helped establish Bay Area PoliceWatch, a hotline and lawyer-referral service that began as a project of LCCR. In 1996 he founded the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, which, claiming that the American criminal-justice system is infested with racism, seeks to promote alternatives to incarceration. According to the Baker Center:
"Decades of disinvestment in our cities have led to despair and hopelessness. For poor communities and communities of color it's even worse, as excessive, racist policing and over-incarceration have left people even further behind."
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 now-defunct Bay Area Marxist-Maoist collective that was staffed by members of various local nonprofits, a number of whom had ties to the Ella Baker Center.
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. STORM also had ties to the South African Communist Party and it revered Amilcar Cabral, the late Marxist revolutionary leader (of Guinea-Bissau and the Cape Verde Islands) who lauded Lenin as "the greatest champion of the national liberation of the peoples." (In 2006 Van Jones would name his own newborn son "Cabral" -- in Amilcar Cabral's honor.)
During his tenure with STORM, Jones collaborated on numerous projects (including antiwar demonstrations) with local activist Elizabeth "Betita" Martinez, who served as a "mentor" for members of the Ella Baker Center. Martinez was a longtime Maoist who went on to join the Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism (CCDS), a Communist Party USA splinter group, in the early 1990s. To this day, Martinez continues to sit on the CCDS advisory board alongside such luminaries as Angela Davis, Timuel Black (who served on Barack Obama's 2004 Senate campaign committee), and musician Pete Seeger. Martinez is also a board member of the Movement for a Democratic Society, the parent organization of Progressives for Obama. Martinez and Van Jones together attended a "Challenging White Supremacy" workshop which advanced the theme that "all too often, the unconscious racism of white activists stands in the way of any effective, worthwhile collaboration" with blacks.
In 2005 Jones and the Ella Baker Center produced the "Social Equity Track" for the United Nations' World Environment Day celebration, a project that eventually would evolve into the Baker Center's Green-Collar Jobs Campaign -- "a job-training and employment pipeline providing 'green pathways out of poverty' for low-income adults in Oakland."
Soon after attending the Clinton Global Initiative in September 2007, Jones launched "Green For All," a non-governmental organization "dedicated to building an inclusive green economy strong enough to lift people out of poverty advocating for local, state and federal commitment to job creation, job training, and entrepreneurial opportunities in the emerging green economy - especially for people from disadvantaged communities."
In 2008 Jones published his first book, The Green Collar Economy, which focused on environmental and economic issues. The book received favorable reviews from such notables as Al Gore, Nancy Pelosi, Laurie David, Winona LaDuke, environmentalist Paul Hawken, and NAACP President/CEO Ben Jealous.
Jones has served as a board member of numerous environmental and nonprofit organizations, including the Rainforest Action Network; Free Press; Bioneers (which accepts the United Nations Millennium Ecosystem Report's warning that "[h]uman activity is putting such strain on the natural functions of Earth that the ability of the planet's ecosystems to sustain future generations can no longer be taken for granted"); the National Apollo Alliance (which seeks "to catalyze a clean energy revolution that will put millions of Americans to work in a new generation of high-quality, green-collar jobs"); the Social Venture Network (which aims "to build a just economy and sustainable planet"); and Julia Butterfly Hill's "Circle of Life" environmental foundation.
Jones was also a Senior Fellow with the Center for American Progress and a Fellow at the Institute of Noetic Sciences.
In March 2009, President Barack Obama named Jones to be his so-called "Green Jobs Czar." Jones' formal title is "Special Advisor for Green Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation" for the White House Council on Environmental Quality.
In a July 2009 interview with Newsweek magazine, Jones said he could not explain exactly what a "green job" is:
"Well, we still don't have a unified definition, and that's not unusual in a democracy. It takes a while for all the states and the federal government to come to some agreement. But the Department of Labor is working on it very diligently. Fundamentally, it's getting there, but we haven't crossed the finish line yet."
Thanks, very comprehensive!
“Became a Communist”
That looks like it’s going to be an interesting read too..
When you wish upon a czar
Makes no difference who you are
Anything your heart desires
Will come to you
If your heart is in your dream
No request is too extreme
When you wish upon a czar
As dreamers do ...
Like a bolt out of the blue
Fate steps in and sees you through
When you wish upon a czar
Your dreams come true