Yvette Carnell: Is Van Jones An Activist or Gatekeeper?

Brook Griffin, Your Black World.

Yvette Carnell a former Capitol Hill staffer, has an issue with the “Rebuild the Dream” movement, started by political activist Van Jones.  Jones is the former special adviser for Green Jobs, appointed by President Obama.  He resigned abruptly after a scandal emerged linking him to a petition circulated by 911truth.org, a site that presents various conspiracy theories about the attacks on September 11th.  Since that time, Jones has created the “Rebuild the Dream” movement as an effort to counter the work being done by the Tea Party and has continued his work with Colorofchange.org.

In an article on the Atlanta Post, Carnell argues that Jones’ “Rebuild the Dream” movement is not based on true grassroots activism, but is instead a movement planted by those working to get President Obama reelected in 2012:

In exchange for bowing to Glenn Beck, he’s been awarded a platform. A platform that allows him to redirect the broad dissatisfaction that liberals have with Obama to the Tea Party.Van Jones doesn’t desire to usher in real transformation of our political system anymore than our President does. They have power.  Why would they seek to alter or diminish it? And our battle is not with ourselves but those with real power. Our battle is not with a handful of Tea Partiers who hold seats in the House and Senate, but with a group of Democrats who hold a majority in the Senate and one Democrat who occupies the Oval Office.

Carnell goes on to argue that the goal of movements like “Rebuild the Dream” is to convince the American people that the Tea Party is the reason that nothing is getting done in Washington, rather than the politicians themselves.  In what she refers to as “the transactional enterprise known as politics,” Carnell states that the “Rebuild the Dream” movement is an effort to deflect attention from where it needs to go.

If Rebuild the Dream aims to hold real people with real power accountable for real failures, then I’m game. But if the aim of the organization is to jedi mind trick us into believing that the Tea Party is the reason for our season of discontent, then spare me. And most certainly don’t insult me.

Carnell adds that she believes that even the slogans used in movements like “Rebuild the Dream” are designed to shift the responsibility for governance away from Congress and the Obama Administration:

In the lead-up to the kick-off of Van Jones’ Rebuild the Dream launch, Jones tweaked his predecessor’s motto a bit, boldly announcing that “it’s not ‘Yes He Can’, it’s ‘Yes We Can’, thereby shifting the responsibility of governance from Obama to the American people…..The people made their choice at the ballot box, now it’s up to our elected officials to carry out their end of the bargain. If not, then what are they doing on Capitol Hill and Pennsylvania Avenue anyway? If they are not responsible for translating their campaign promises into legislation, then we’d all be better off setting up tent cities in Washington D.C. and coalescing around a direct democratic model.

Only time will tell if Jones’ style of activism actually works.  He is definitely an insider in Washington and the American people have become skeptical of yet another Washington politician promising that he can affect real change.  The day of reckoning will one day come, and at that point Jones will be measured.


  • oumar D

    i could agree with u more.keep the good work