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Raw Data: Van Jones in His Own Words

-- "Assholes"

Berkely, Calif., Feb. 26, 2009: Jones took audience questions in Berkeley, Calif., during a lecture on energy issues.

Van Jones: "Well, the answer to that is: they're assholes." 

Female questioner: I was afraid that that was the answer.

Van Jones: That's a technical, political science term. And -- Barack O -- Barack Obama's not an asshole. So -- now, I will say this: I can be an asshole. And some of us who are not Barack Hussein Obama are going to have to start getting a little bit uppity. How's that capitalism working for ya?

Female questioner: What?

Van Jones: How's that capitalism working for ya this year?

Female questioner: What? 

Van Jones: How is that capitalism working for ya this year? 

See the video here.

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-- "Gray Capitalism" 

Uprising Radio, April 2008

Van Jones; "Right after Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat if the civil rights leaders had jumped out and said, 'OK now we want reparations for slavery, we want redistribution of all the wealth, and we want to legalize mixed marriages.' If we'd come out with a maximum program the very next day, they'd been laughed at. Instead they came out with a very minimum. 'We just want to integrate these buses.' 

"But, inside that minimum demand was a very radical kernel that eventually meant that from 1964 to 1968 complete revolution was on the table for this country. And, I think that this green movement has to pursue those same steps and stages. Right now we say we want to move from suicidal gray capitalism to something eco-capitalism where at least we're not fast-tracking the destruction of the whole planet. Will that be enough? No, it won't be enough. We want to go beyond the systems of exploitation and oppression altogether. But, that's a process and I think that's what's great about the movement that is beginning to emerge is that the crisis is so severe in terms of joblessness, violence and now ecological threats that people are willing to be both pragmatic and visionary. So the green economy will start off as a small subset and we are going to push it and push it and push it until it becomes the engine for transforming the whole society."

See the video here.

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"White Polluters"

January 2008

Van Jones: "The environmental justice community that said, 'Hey, wait a minute, you know, you're regulating, but you're not regulating equally.' And the white polluters and the white environmentalists are essentially steering poison into the people-of-color communities, because they don't have a racial justice frame."

See the video here.

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Sept. 11, 2001

Press release for vigil

"We express our disgust at the present attempts by the U.S. security and surveillance establishment to turn this tragedy into a cash-cow bonanza - or to use it to mask a cynical power grab."

Read the press release here

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STORM Press Release, Sept. 4, 2009

STORM Manual:

"...as well as the victims of U.S. imperialism around the world."

Read the press release here.

"

Powershift Conference, March 2009

Van Jones: "What about our immigrant sisters and brothers? What about people who've come here from all around the world who we're willing to have out in the field with poison being sprayed on them because we have the wrong agricultural system, and then we're willing to poison them and poison the earth to put food on our table but we don't want to give them rights and we don't want to give them dignity and we don't want to give them respect. We need to get down on our knees and thank these Native American communities but also the Latino community, Asian community and every other community that's willing to come here and help is out because we obviously need some help. We need some wisdom from some place else because what we've come up with where don't make no sense at all. ... 

"This movement is deeper than a solar panel! Deeper than a solar panel! Don't stop there! Don't stop there! We're gonna change the whole system! We're gonna change the whole thing! [...] And our Native American sisters and brothers who were pushed and bullied and mistreated and shoved into all the land we didn't want, where it was all hot and windy. Well, guess what? Renewable energy? Guess what, solar industry? Guess what wind industry? They now own and control 80 percent of the renewable energy resources. No more broken treaties. No more broken treaties. Give them the wealth! Give them the wealth! Give them the dignity. Give them the respect that they deserve. No justice on stolen land. We owe them a debt.

See the video here.

"Sorry."

Statement, Sept. 2, 2009

Van Jones: "These comments, made before I joined the administration, were clearly inappropriate and I apologize for the offensive words I chose to use during that speech."

Read the statement here.

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