Friday, February 26, 2010

Van Jones Accepts NAACP Award with Message to Glenn Beck

While Precious, the movie, based on Sapphire's novel Push, was front and center tonight at the NAACP Image Awards, the organization reminded America that it still stands for justice when it presented Van Jones with the President's Award. Jones is the social activist and environmentalist Fox talk show host Glenn Beck branded a "communist" last year, pressuring Jones to resign in September 2009 from his position as the White House "Green Czar."

Oh, but Jones was gracious and regal tonight accepting his gift from the NAACP. He gave a beautiful speech, one of the best of the evening, ending it with a message to Beck that he loves him anyway.

At times Jones sounded like the green evangelist prophesying to the nation, at others like a skilled politician, and this is what he said:
First of all giving honor to God and also to my mother Loretta Jean Kirkendall Jones--let me get it right. Get that right, straight! I want to thank my beautiful wife and our two boys Matai and Cabral. I want to thank the staff and supporters of Green for All, the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights and Color of Change, incredible freedom fighting organizations. I also want to give a shout out and a salute to President Barack Obama. President Barack Obama who is a world class leader, a man who volunteered to be the captain of the Titanic after it hit the iceberg, and we're still floating, and we're still floating. Let's stay with this president!

And I also want to thank the NAACP for encouraging me to continue in my quest. It took a lot of courage for Ben Jealous to nominate me for this award and to give to me this award. I appreciate that courage, and I appreciate the courage of the NAACP.

I have had 1,000 defeats in this past year, but I had one victory, and it's the most important victory to me: I don't hate anybody. I'm not mad at anybody, and I still believe in the politics of hope. I still believe! You can't take that from me. You can't take it from me.

And I know one thing, we have people in every community in America right now watching this program who don't have jobs, who are suffering, who are afraid, living in economic uncertainty, and I know there's a future out there for them where they get a chance to make the products of tomorrow. If we want the jobs of tomorrow, we have to make the products of tomorrow. There's somebody right now who's in Detroit, and they know how to make cars. They're a skilled machinist, but they're idle. Let them make the wind turbines and the smart batteries and the solar panels to repower this country. Let them work! Give them hope! Give them the opportunity!

There's somebody right now who's living in Appalachia, who's living in rural America, who's afraid she's going to lose her land because she doesn't have enough sources of income. Let her put those wind turbines up. Let her grow an energy crop. Give her the opportunity to hold on to her land and be a part of this energy revolution. Let's get everybody involved in repowering America in a clean way.

And for a country that beautiful, that prosperous, that innovative, that united, I am willing to walk through fire and brimstone and fire and brimstone until we get the job done.

The last thing I want to say is this. To my fellow countryman, Mr. Glenn Beck, I see you and I love you, brother. I love you and you cannot do anything about it. I love you and you cannot do anything about it. Let's be one country! Let's be one country. Let's get the job done. (Transcript of Van Jones's speech accepting 2010 NAACP President's Award at the Image Awards)
If you search for Jones under news, you'll see he's making a come back.
Van Jones, who resigned from the White House Council on Environmental Quality last fall in the face of a coordinated smear campaign by conservative activists, has reemerged from his self-imposed exile. He'll be teaching at Princeton University and taking up a senior fellowship at the Center for American Progress, where he will head a "green opportunity initiative." ("After right-wing smears, Van Jones gets a second chance")
In a blog post at the NAACP website, its president and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous explains why Jones deserved the President's Award. You may also read The Grio's recent interview with Jones.

Others receiving special awards this evening included Tyler Perry (Chairman's Award). He too sent a message in his speech. He's also one of the producers of Precious, and his multiple Perry movies and shows were honored during the event. Two others getting special recognition were Wyclef Jean (Vanguard Award), and Clarance Avant (Hall of Fame). The New York Times has posted a full list of other winners.

1 comment:

msladydeborah said...

I think that Van Jones is going to do great things during his lifetime. I am a member of Color of Change and the organization has done good work. I also support his efforts to green the economy. It is good business for the nation and for Mother Gia.