Van Jones’ Sunday morning resignation from the Obama Administration has been well chronicled, with many irate
over the President’s unwillingness to defend Jones against right-wing attacks. Jones was the Administration’s most effective advocate for “Green Jobs.” The Obama camp knew of Jones’ “radical” political history, a background the activist has never sought to conceal. But the Obama folks also knew that Jones could bring people of color into the drive for green jobs more effectively than anyone else, and that he had clearly become a “mainstream,” though still progressive activist, over the past several years.
There is a double standard in Washington DC, whereby right wing zealots can break laws (Elliot Abrams et al) and maintain administration jobs while distinguished community leaders on the left like Jones are forced out through conservative media blather alone. Jones understood that it was the wrong time for Barack Obama to spend political capital defending him; what’s disappointing is how little the President apparently valued Jones’ contributions, and how he could allow one of the few high-profile progressive members of his Administration to be forced out by the same right-wing lunatics who are questioning Obama’s citizenship, opposing his talking to kids in school, and who represent all that is the worst in the nation’s politics.
Van, you did nothing wrong. We look forward to your future endeavors, and know this setback will prove only temporary.
Randy Shaw is the Editor of Beyond Chron