David Horowitz

The Environmental Stalinists Sound the Alarm

Posted on September 7 2009 2:16 pm
David Horowitz is the editor-in-chief of NewsReal Blog and FrontPage Magazine. He is the President and CEO of the David Horowitz Freedom Center. His most recent book is Reforming Our Universities
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feature-121-carl-pope-clorox3LGThe night Van Jones resigned, Newsreal editor David Swindle emailed me and said: watch how long it takes them to use the “L” word. That’s not for liberal, mind you; it’s for “lynch.” Destruction of the enemy is always the agenda of the left. While conservatives prepare arguments, assemble evidence, leftists are busy looking into their quivers for a poison arrow, which always turns out to be a tainted label, and always pretty much the same label: racist (or sexist, or Islamophobe). So it wasn’t surprising to see the following post from Carl Pope the radical head of the Sierra Club who (should anyone think the environment is foremost on his mind) has said “What keeps me going is the desire to get back at evil people. in which he singles out Glenn Beck as the leader of a “lynch mob.” This is Pope’s black supremacism surfacing. Criticize a black person and you’re a lyncher. In the left’s eyes black people obviously walk on water. So the fact that may be communists, truthers, anti-Semites and racists is not only irrelevant, it’s impossible. Blacks can’t be racists is standard doctrine in our universities — that’s how far this leftist agenda has penetrated our culture.  Obviously Pope is ginning up the next attempt to — what else? — lynch Beck. And why is it legitimate to call this a lynching and not what Beck has done to Jones. Because Beck marshaled facts (that’s McCarthyism!) while Pope marshals smears. And boycotts. Because the aim of people like Pope is not to answer an argument but to suppress it and — far more important — get rid of the man making it.

September 06, 2009

We All Blew It

Washington, D.C. — Thursday evening I got worried. Friday I put in a call to ask Van Jones how to help. Saturday I started writing a blog post, which would have appeared this morning. (I’ve attached it below because it goes into more detail on the history of the “Bush as addict” meme.) But on Saturday night, Van resigned, and this morning I was sick at heart. Collectively we — the environmental community, progressives, and the Obama administration — blew this, and we let our cause, our president, and Van Jones down.

This was a lynch mob and, when it started forming a month ago, we didn’t take it seriously enough. When I saw the first Glenn Beck piece on Van Jones and the Apollo Alliance as the new vast left-wing conspiracy, I could not take it seriously. Silence enabled Fox to keep pushing. The statements for which Jones apologized — the reference to the right as “assholes” and saying that Bush was talking “like a crack-head” were such ordinary political discourse — think Rahm Emmanuel, think Dick Cheney saying “fuck yourself” to Senator Leahy, think Tom Friedman dubbing Bush “the addict-in-chief” — that I didn’t understand why an apology was necessary; I assumed it would blow over.

Well, that was a mistake. So was the decision by the White House to treat the initial attacks not as part of an assault on the president but, instead, to allow them to be viewed as being about Van Jones. What we underestimated was the power of the fact that both Jones and the Barack Obama are black. Yes, the hysteria was about politics — I don’t think Fox News really cares about Jones’s ethnicity — but it was enabled by race. Calling Bush a “crack-head” is seen by a large part of America as worse than calling him “addict-in-chief” because crack is not just a drug — it is a drug used largely by black people. It reminds those Americans who are still uncomfortable with Barack Obama that we have a black president.

What was the reactionary right up to on Friday? They sent operatives out to San Quentin prison to obtain videotapes of workshops that Van Jones conducted there while he was working to help prisoners transition back to society. (The inmates wouldn’t let them get their hands on them — they knew, before I did, how serious this was.) They were cuing up video clips from teenagers that Jones taught in the Oakland ghetto in 2000. If you watch the infamous “assholes” video carefully, it’s clear that what Jones was saying was that Republicans play hardball better than Democrats, and that we need to start playing by their rules. He said it, though, in the language of his own community — and that, at the end of the day, was his crime. He spoke to and was of a part of an America that Fox and the reactionary right would like to put back on the plantation or pretend is not part of our nation.

Anyone who has been an effective advocate for these communities has said things that will sound shocking to people in some other parts of America — just as anyone who genuinely represents certain evangelical communities will have beliefs about morality that more-secular Americans might have a hard time with.

So lynch mobs can form up from all perspectives. This one, though, was clearly not spontaneous. It was organized by the Republicans as part of a conscious strategy, and it is only the first. We should be critical of ourselves for having blown this one. But we shouldn’t forgive either ourselves or the Administration if the next time we sense this happening we don’t fight back harder, faster, and in a way that calls a mob a mob, racism racism, and an attack on the president an attack on America.

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