Skip to main content

Van Jones is the perfect face for the climate change movement for loads of reasons. For starters he is/was a pioneer in connecting inner city america to the traditional climate movement, which primarily was a movement built on the foreboding science and the necessary retrenchment from fossil fuels that was necessary, irrespective of the inability of some of our population to adjust to that transition without significant help. When that's your message the coalition you tend to get are white, urban, middle-class to upper middle class americans.

This created a disconnect with the climate movement and progressive politics' strongest base in America: minorities generally, but African Americans in particular. Van Jones realized this while seeing both worlds in San Francisco and Oakland and helped connect the transition to clean energy to the inner city through his work there and his subsequent great book "The Green Collar Economy". You saw the fruits of his, and other peoples, labor yesterday when African Americans, Native Americans, and Latinos were among the biggest voices and presence at the rally and for the movement. We came a long way. This gave him unmatched credibility with the traditional environmental movement and the traditional base of the democratic/progressive politics. But thats not what scares the right.

What makes Van Jones such a threat to the right is the fact that he is, by far, the best communicator in our movement. He has this insane ability to distill the ethos of what we're trying to do into simple yet very engaging and moving language. Normally you would think he has these things prepared ahead of time, which would be impressive but not special, but then you realize he's even better in Q&A sessions. I've seen Van talk so many times, both off the cuff and in speeches, that you immediately realize that he just has this innate ability to synthesize complicated arguments into coherent and powerful language. And most importantly, synthesize them in a way that completely captures young people. Its truly amazing to see him at a college campus.

So of course, at yesterday's rally, he had the line that captured just about everything about this fight in his message to Obama(paraphrasing):

"Mr. President, if you build this pipeline, the first thing it runs over is not our farmlands or our cities, the first it runs over is your credibility Mr.President"

Originally posted to ai002h on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 08:17 AM PST.

Also republished by DK GreenRoots and Climate Hawks.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site