What Van Jones really offers is rebuilding the American dream, not a course in Marxism
In a recent piece on Van Jones' upcoming presentation at Kalamazoo College, the Kalamazoo Gazette echoed the archaic and unprofessional (and not to mention historically racist and heterosexist) red-baiting cry of "Marxist!" in its description of the progressive intellectual.What is 'red-baiting'? Why would criticism of Marxists, who murdered 150 million people, be considered a bad thing by Mr. Turk? How is it 'racist and heterosexist'? Communists certainly weren't very kind to racial minorities and homosexuals when they were in power. Incidentally, the original progressive intellectuals were incredibly racist, supporting eugenics. Woodrow Wilson segregated the White House, for example.
This is an outdated tactic that will not save any of us from the immoral and disgustingly expansive web of corporate greed that in 2010 afforded John Paulson a $4.9 billion annual paycheck while unemployment rates soared to unprecedented heights.Turk then blathers about corporate greed for a few paragraphs.
Van Jones' movement to Rebuild the American Dream might offer us a solution. On Wednesday, Nov. 2 he will speak at Kalamazoo College's annual Weber Lecture about this movement, which he sums up in a Contract for the American Dream:[Comments in brackets]
1. Invest in America's infrastructure [government spending]
2. Create 21st century energy jobs [corporate welfare]
3. Invest in public education [spending, socialism]
4. Offer Medicare for all [spending, socialism]
5. Make work pay [You can get PAID for work? All this time I've been working for free!]
6. Secure Social Security [spending]
7. Return to fairer tax rates [raise taxes]
8. End the wars and invest at home [spending]
9. Tax Wall Street speculation [raise taxes]
10. Strengthen democracy [socialism is central planning by elites, which is undemocratic]
Jones offers a traditional American solution to the problems that have plagued this country since its beginning. Rebuild the American Dream repositions the American Dream as an ideal worth striving for: "this basic idea that ordinary people should be able to find a job, keep a job, keep a home and give their kid a better life."Which Founding Father would endorse this platform?
My political theoretical barometer picks up little to no Marxism here — but for things to be as unfortunate as they are at present, a healthy dose of Marxism might be "productive."Little? So there is some? So Turk does want Marxism?
In spite of the Gazette's false accusations and vapid commentary, I encourage your attendance at this tonight's presentation by Jones — a presentation that is sure to raise both viable solutions to and critical inquiries around the national crisis.Communists don't gain power saying that they're going to kill people. They always promise good things like jobs and health care. At the same time, they exploit existing divisions in society through class warfare (and phony accusations of 'racism'). Van Jones made a strategic decision to abandon overt radicalism in favor a phony 'green jobs' agenda, but with the same goal of imposing big government socialism.
On Thursday at 10 a.m. in Hicks Banquet Hall, Jones will also speak on a panel discussion, "The Political Moment," alongside two local community activists and two Kalamazoo College students. Admission is free and no RSVP is necessary.
Hussain Turk is program coordinator for the Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership of Kalamazoo College.
Turk is either clueless or lying, most likely the latter given his oblique endorsement of Marxism. I'll quote again Politifact on Van Jones.
There's little question that Jones was an avowed communist.Would Turk make the same excuses for a speaker with Nazi ties? Would he invite David Duke (who has also endorsed Occupy Wall Street) to speak about social justice? If not, why not? Communists killed far more people than Nazis. Once again I'll ask--is communism the sort of 'social justice' Turk and the Arcus Center are promoting?
In a Nov. 2, 2005, profile of Jones in the East Bay Express , an alternative weekly in Berkeley, Calif., Jones said his life hit a turning point in the spring of 1992 when he was swept up in mass arrests while protesting the acquittal of police officers accused of beating Rodney King.
Although the charges against Jones were dropped, Jones said that while in jail, "I met all these young radical people of color — 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 10 years of my life working with a lot of those people I met in jail, trying to be a revolutionary."
"In the months that followed," the Express article said, "he let go of any lingering thoughts that he might fit in with the status quo. 'I was a rowdy nationalist on April 28th, and then the verdicts came down on April 29th,' he said. 'By August, I was a communist.'"
In 1994, the story states, Jones formed a socialist collective called Standing Together to Organize a Revolutionary Movement, or STORM.
According to a history of STORM written in the spring of 2004, the group held "structured political education" training at every meeting "to help members develop an understanding of the basics of Marxist politics." They "trained members on capitalism and wage exploitation, the state and revolution, imperialism and the revolutionary party."
Kalamazoo College Professor Lies About Van Jones
Van Jones at Kalamazoo College