As JJP readers will know, we’ve been…well just the tiniest bit critical of the NAACP in the past — since the launch of the blog actually through today.
However, I almost choked on my afternoon chai latte Tues and had to do a double-take when I saw this on CNN:
While Van Jones may have left the White House under a cloud, the NAACP says that’s not his whole story.
The group considers him a pioneering hero for the environment and civil rights — so much so that it is awarding him one of its highest honors Friday: an NAACP Image Award. It’s a move that is just becoming public now, which is sure to stoke the fire from Jones critics.
Jones resigned in September 2009 from his position on the Council on Environmental Quality, under a firestorm of criticism over a petition he had signed and his comments about Republicans.
The Obama administration’s “green czar” helped coordinate government agencies focused on delivering millions of green jobs to the ailing U.S. economy.
We love ourselves some Van Jones here at JJP and he was one of our first guest bloggers. Color of Change, which Van Jones helped to found, went after Glenn Beck when he publicly accused the President of hating white people (despite being raised by white people and being half-white) on Fox News. Color of Change, led by the intrepid James Rucker who also blogs here at JJP, successfully persuaded most of Beck’s advertisers to stop supporting the unapologetic bigot. We had the Prez’s back and Beck on the ropes.
Beck lashed back — he couldn’t hit Color of Change directly so he went after Van Jones instead, even though Jones’ ideas and policies had been embraced under both a Republican and a Democratic administration. The Obama Administration, rather than seeing Beck’s desperate flailing and mud-flinging for what it was, blinked — and let Van go. It was devastating to those of us who both loved Van’s vision and those who also wanted to put a rabid dog, Beck, down in an attempt to defend the President. It was a double McTwisty 1260 of spineless political incompetence (although to their credit, the White House learned quickly from this early error). The Obama blink has proven tragic, short-sighted and very costly as Beck and his sponsor Fox News were allowed to draw blood and claim an early victory in tarring the Administration as communists. Our enemies were emboldened. One of the greatest promoters of a renewed green American economy left office in undeserved disgrace. Glenn Beck became a conservative superstar.
The NAACP Image Awards in my opinion have largely been an extravagant waste of money and time in recent years, assisting black folk in need not at all. However, this is what the NAACP Image Awards were designed to do. I’ve got issues with the NAACP choice to air the Image Awards ceremony on Fox — ummm…for obvious reasons. However, this is pretty subversive. Celebrating Van Jones, author of Green Collar Economy, on the dime of the News Corp. owned network that sought to destroy him? It almost makes me…misty…with pride. It is a thing of beauty.
Here’s what Ben Jealous of the NAACP had to say about their decision to award Van:
Van Jones is an American treasure.
He is quite simply one of the few Americans in recent years to have generated powerful new ideas that are creating more jobs here.
Through Green for All, and others organizations, Van Jones continues to work for an American economy that can thrive again — a nation whose prosperity reaches beyond Wall Street to Main Street and back streets. A country where jobs in installation, manufacturing and construction flourish again — to upgrade our homes to conserve energy, create solar panels, build electric cars, and manufacture wind turbines and smart batteries.
Furthermore, Van is working to make sure that our country does not lose out to India, China or Germany in the green industrial race. His vision gives us a fighting chance to reclaim something we lost years ago, back when steel was king. In those days, blue-collar workers could support their families with their wages, and our nation was not the world’s leading debtor. Van’s vision, in short, is a vision for America restored to its place as the definitive world economic leader.
It is for reasons like these that Time magazine named Van one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2009 and that I am proud to give him the NAACP President’s Award at our 41st Image Awards this Friday.
Kudos to Jealous and to the NAACP for this historic, brave and controversial decision. It is the right thing to do. And I’m glad and frankly shocked as all get-out to see them doing it.
BTW, I also agree with African-American Political Pundit on the ascension of Roslyn Brock replacing moldy oldy architect of the NAACP’s post civil rights era decline Julian Bond as chair of the NAACP….
AAPP says: All of you know how I feel about the NAACP. I have been a critic of the NAACP for some time, yet at the same time I have scene glimmers of HOPE. I’ve talked about how the naacp is still facing a battle over its future. More Here about – my second take It’s interesting that I (along with other bloggers) just recently discussed how the NAACP gave Senator Reid an A in Congress report card | more HERE and HERE
Yes, I have been critical of how Three Negros (stooges) meet with Obama at White House without an agenda, plan, strategy, out program in place. On this blog I have followed the NAACP for some time. I have pointed out, like so many other black folks how NAACP is out of touch! As an example, giving Harry Reid a grade “A” as a Senator.
Now we learn the NAACP selected health-care administrator Roslyn M. Brock as its chairman on Saturday, marking the culmination of a generational shift for the historic civil rights organization.
AAPP: This is good News!
Good news indeed. Nice work, NAACP. Oh and uh, bonus points for also nominating the awesome Wanda Sykes for an Image Award.
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