I was kicking it at the family reunion when I was interrupted from my diet of Ribs, Chicken, and Low Country Boil to hear the news about Van Jones. Van Jones worked for the White House at the Council on Environmental Quality. They created a special position for him as the Special Adviser for Green Jobs (aka The Green Czar). Maybe I don’t get out that often but I don’t know too many black folks that have jobs created for them. The last time that happened they gave a black guy a mop and called him janitor. But I digress…
The news this past weekend was that Jones resigned from the Obama Administration. A Brother quitting his job on a holiday weekend….now that is unheard of!!! Now calling in on Tuesday saying you quit is what I would have expected. For those that don’t know, Glenn Beck has turned Van Jones into his whipping boy (pun intended). Van Jones old group The Color of Change has been turning the heat on Beck because of his recent comments about President Obama (i.e. Obama doesn’t like white folks etc etc etc). Television sponsors have been jumping off the Beck ship because of “The Color of Change’s work. So Beck gets mad and instead of taking his anger out on The Color of Change he picks on Van Jones. Van Jones is an easy target because he works for Obama and we know how Beck feels about Obama. Beck’s logic for who he decided to go after was flawed at best. It is the equivalent of me quitting McDonalds and Glenn Beck burns his tongue on the fries. Instead of complaining to McDonalds he calls my house complaining about his tongue being burned.
This resignation has caused a storm of controversy over the internet regarding Van Jones. People have talked about his qualifications, past views, and his white wife. Screech!!!!! (That was me putting the breaks on the car!!) (This is me backing up the car) Beep Beep Beep! His white wife!!!! If you didn’t know from the previous paragraphs, Van Jones is black or as they say at the Republican Convention he’s colored.
To be honest I don’t know about Jones qualifications. I know Obama is a pretty smart dude and he doesn’t surround himself with dummies. I also know that Jones had a New York Times Best Selling book called “The Green Collar Economy”. So until I see different I will assume that the man is qualified.
It also seems that he is a beloved man on the Left End of the political spectrum. His views and beliefs were widely accepted by progressive Democrats. But his past caught up to him and now he is out of a job.
Now you are probably wondering what his wife has to do with him resigning. She has absolutely nothing to do with it. She came into play when Van Jones past came back to haunt him. To some people Van Jones came off as a Black Nationalist. Therefore, why would a Black Nationalist be married to a white woman?
From what I’ve seen so far, if Jones is a radical, he needs to go back to militant school. He is lacking in the kill whitey and down with the government department. A true Black Nationalist would have never taken a job with the Government. Jones probably sits in Starbucks texting on his Blackberry while listening to Ice Cube’s “The Predator Album” on his I-Pod. If he is a Black Nationalist, I’m a descendant of Chairman Mao.
Now let me tell you what I do know:
I know the Obama Administration doesn’t know anything about vetting people. Don’t they know how to use Google and Youtube? Tom Daschle didn’t pay his taxes and messed up the opportunity to be the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. Now instead of getting the person he really wanted, Obama had to settle for a 3rd stringer for the position. Obama is getting out-flanked and out-hustled on this HealthCare Business. We can only wonder would it be different if Daschle was running things.
Obama is going to have to start micromanaging the people in his Administration. He can’t leave people to manage on their own because they are doing a terrible job. His Presidential Legacy is in the hands of people that don’t understand the magnitude of this moment. They need to help him by doing their jobs better. If they were better at vetting people, we wouldn’t be watching these resignations. How difficult is it to research a persons’ past when he has video footage on the internet?
If Van Jones was the right guy for the job, then they should have fought to keep him. Obama’s Administration has been bullied by The Far Right so much that it doesn’t take much to make them rollover. It took President George Bush (Bush Jr) many moons before Donald Rumsfeld left the fold. He protected his boy Alberto Gonzales until the bitter end. People in the Obama Administration need to man up and learn how to throw a punch. If you believe in your employees, you need to stand by them.
“It struck me, why go after this guy? He is a minor player, he has no power, no budget, why take him? It’s because he looks like Obama and he has all those same attributes of being well-educated and he’s an electrifying speaker with an elite education. It seems to me that he is symbolic of what the Obama administration is and could be and that’s inspiring for me, but for some people on the right, it’s terrifying and threatening.”
~ John Anner, Former Chair of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights.