Whoever desires to found a state and give it laws, must start with assuming that all men are bad and ever ready to display their vicious nature, whenever they may find occasion for it.He who has not first laid his foundations may be able with great ability to lay them afterwards, but they will be laid with trouble to the architect and danger to the building.Since love and fear can hardly exist together, if we must choose between them, it is far safer to be feared than loved.Whoever desires to found a state and give it laws, must start with assuming that all men are bad and ever ready to display their vicious nature, whenever they may find occasion for it. - Niccolo Machiavelli, The Prince
Monday, September 7, 2009
Ineptitude 101: Color of Change & the Van Jones Fallout
There was a lot of chatter yesterday about the resignation of Van Jones. He didn't even last six months in his position as Special Advisor for Green Jobs for the White House Council on Environmental Quality. Now I admit when the post was announced I immediately questioned why Majora Carter had not been appointed instead. As the founder of Sustainable South Bronx and now the Majora Carter Group it was she who had pioneered the "green jobs" movement amongst a certain population during a specific time and had "inspired" Jones. Now I'm just relieved she stayed far away from the fray.
This is a lesson on how you win a battle but lose the war.
Supposedly his departure was related to statements he'd made regarding potential gov't involvement with the September 11th attacks and for "calling the Republicans names". Was there a racial component to this? Yup. Could he have chosen his words better? Perhaps. We know politics is a dirty business where something one says years ago can be used against you in a public massacre. It's not as if the Obama White House wasn't aware of this when they hired Jones - they have an extremely thorough screening process. This was retaliation Machiavelli-style for affecting News Corporation's bottom line.
I've had my concern with Color Of Change being yet another offshoot of the Civil Rights Industrial Complex - but with computer saavy. They did initially begin their advocacy by addressing those left behind to perish in New Orleans. Soon they adopted the same agenda of protecting black males (usually criminals) against white aggression (law enforcement). You know a typical day at the NAACP. So when they went rogue by going after Fox talk show host Glen Beck I went into high alert.
They took issue with Beck referring to the President as a racist. Personally I would've let it go not because it wasn't offensive but because we know Beck is going to say outrageous things to get ratings. We know what the Fox News agenda is all about but they're only two steps ahead down the steps of hell as far as I'm concerned. MSNBC still has Pat Buchanan in their employ last time I checked. He was just praising Hitler in an Op-Ed. I also think the White House has fallen down on the job of properly defending it's own agenda so I figure if some two-bit host on Fake News of all networks is going to harp on Obama it's par for the course. Had Obama wished to silence Beck, Dobbs, Hannity, Limbaugh or any of these angry, lying white men he has the FCC and the Justice Department at his disposal.
So when Executive Director of Color Of Change, James Rucker called for a boycott of advertisers I thought it was a brilliant first step but I wondered publicly about what long-term agenda they had in place to deal with the repercussions. I recall thinking they had certainly used a strategy deployed by blog host of What About Our Daughters Gina McCauley in addressing BET's poor quality programming. I didn't really see any credit for her idea being offered by them though. I also wondered if they had inquired about the very public backlash she'd received for doing so. I knew this was on an entirely different level and had assumed they'd sought advice on this.
Advertisers did pull out, but the ratings for the show have tripled. Blacks (and some others) were cheering on various political and social blogs. It was an emotional response and I knew people would be caught off-guard at the backlash. When Beck was "forced" to take a vacation people took it as a sign of victory. That was a classic head fake. I knew Rupert Murdoch would respond to any perceived threat against News Corp and would support Beck no matter what. They'd already let one go when they cancelled E.D. Hill's show. Remember she had referred to Michelle Obama as a baby momma? Besides that was a female host. They weren't letting one of their white men go down without a fight. It would set a precedent. A black female blogger taking on a network targeting blacks is one thing. Taking on Fox over the President is on another level. The response was shift and exacting. Instead of focusing on COC directly they went after the co-founder who was conveniently working at the White House. It was a nice way to defang the "victory" and attack the President in one fell swoop.
Whether Jones actually quit or was pushed out is a moot point. This President has shown no loyalty to black people in my opinion. No Skippy Gates doesn't count. I really have no interest at this time in hearing how "we" are supposed to be (blindly) supporting "our" President. I voted for my interests, not for gender and not for race. Though I admit I take much pleasure in the ill-tempered moods of the racists who can't stand having Michelle Obama and the wee Michelles there. I know one thing: Obama could shut this all down any time he pleases. He's in charge. He has all the power. He could call out the racists. He could bring the hypocrisy to light. He won't though because he's listening to those who don't have his best interests at heart. That's his choice and it has me questioning his true agenda. He needs a serious reality check. So do we. Attorney General Eric Holder had better be battening down the hatches because he's next on the wing nut hit list. Holder is one of the few unbowed black men I'm seeing in office right now.
My advice is KNOW YOUR ENEMY.
This is bigger than Van Jones. This is bigger than Color of Change, though they've totally undermined their entire organization with their poor decision-making. There's a reason why the NAACP as INEFFECTIVE AS IT IS is still around. They thought they knew better. It was a valiant effort on their part but completely misguided of them to not know who - if anyone - had their back. Like our President!
Black people had better FINALLY be paying attention. I keep hearing the same theme of "we didn't know it was going to be this bad". This is a result of the hate that hate produced so how do you expect to protect yourself collectively when you've spent ALL your precious capital pissing in the wind? Think of this as the time before the flooding in New Orleans. Get your houses in order. The storm is coming and if you are not prepared you will be left behind to perish. Some may wish to argue this point or claim there's a bigger agenda involved. Ok then. You can wait around to see where the chips fall. When the water comes you can claim that surely a boat is coming for you because you were a loyal supporter. Of course you're going to be looked after.
I hope you know how to swim.