Attacking Van Jones: A Wise Essay on Political Racism

Tim Wise has an excellent post on the defamation of Van Jones that many in the media and DC have engaged in lately, which forced him out of a White House that seems unwilling to push back against this type of attack, an attack that has strong racist undertones.

He sums up the attacks thus:

Let’s be clear, this is about one thing only: namely, the attempt by the right to exploit white reactionary fears about black militancy. It is the same tactic they tried with Rev. Jeremiah Wright in 2008. They did not confront Wright’s narrative–the accuracy of which was far stronger than they would like to admit–nor do they actually grapple with Jones’s ideas (it is doubtful that Beck has even read Jones’s best-selling book, for instance). Rather, they present a caricature, a bogey man with black skin, an occasional scowl, and an attitude. Angry, confrontational, “uppity,” and too close to the President. Which means that Wright=Obama=Jones=Malcolm X. It’s a trope the right has banked on for years: using racial memes and symbols to scare Jim and Susie Suburb. Put the face of black anger out there and watch your devotees respond like Pavlov’s dog.

Even parts of the mainstream media have backed off and supported Jones. Clearly, this is one more part of the Republican Party and its friends in the media appealing to the overwhelming white base of that Party.

And Happy Labor Day!