The only way Van Jones could have improved his chances is if he’d been a foul-mouthed rap artist.
“Van Jones is an American treasure,” wrote Benjamin Todd Jealous, the President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Jealous attempted to justify the selection of Van Jones for the NAACP’s 2010 “President’s Award” at the organization’s February 26th Images Award ceremony.
Among the accomplishments that merited his selection — according to Jealous — was Jones founded the Color of Change, a deeply partisan organization steeped in the deeply repugnant politics of fomenting the racial divide in America.
Jones’ admission of his Communist beliefs should not disqualify him from consideration of a serious award. However, his racist and bigoted views, his delusional beliefs as a “September 11th truther,” and his overall fringe lunacy easily isolate him as little more than a well-deserved society outcast and the punch line in a late night comedy routine.
It is a supreme embarrassment and a monumental shame that the NAACP had chosen to recognize Jones for anything other than being a truly dubious individual.
This isn’t the first time the NAACP has failed its constituency by honoring downright lousy people. On occasion, the NAACP has displayed a completely schizophrenic personality when it comes to race politics.
In 2003, then-NAACP President Kweisi Mfume was apoplectic over a silly board game called Ghettopoly, a take-off of the popular board game Monopoly.
Ghettopoly was a parody of ghetto culture that was invented by 28-year old entrepreneur David Chang. A Taiwanese immigrant, Chang was doing his best to achieve financial success and realize the American dream. Chang’s game played on stereotypes of blacks, whites, Hispanics, Asians and Jews. Properties included Westside Liquor, Smitty’s XXX Peep Show, Weinstein’s Gold and Platinum, Ling-Ling’s Massage Parlor and Chico’s Bodega.
According to an Internet advertisement, “Buying stolen properties, pimpin’ hoes, building crack houses and projects, paying protection fees and getting car jacked are some of the elements of the game.” At this point, one would have to wonder who would even buy such a dumb game?
Nonetheless, Ghettopoly got Mfume so angered that he fired off a letter to Chang denouncing the game. Mfume wrote, “It is disturbing that you would choose to promote and capitalize off such negative aspects of society that cause great harm to individuals and the African-American community at large.”
Yet, this is where the double standard came into play. Chang said he got the inspiration to invent the game by watching rap videos on an MTV program called “Cribs” and from playing video games. One only has to watch a few minutes of some of the most vulgar rap videos to understand how an immigrant can latch onto such stereotypes.
Chang was selling Ghettopoly the same time the Converse shoe company was marketing the “Loaded Weapon” athletic shoe and black rapper Nelly was promoting his “Pimp Juice” snack beverage.
Although Mfume was critical of Ghettopoly, he and the NAACP had an entirely different take on the rap music that had inspired the game. On more than one occasion, the NAACP gave its Image Award to rappers, some of whom had recorded songs preaching violence toward women.
This is how the NAACP website described its reasons for presenting the Image Award. “Ideas and images create the belief systems that control our individual and societal actions. When it comes to forming ideas, reinforcing stereotypes, establishing norms and shaping our thinking nothing affects us more than the images and concepts delivered into our lives on a daily basis by television and film.”
With that as its guiding principles, the NAACP gave its 2002 Image Award to rapper Ja Rule for his rap song “Livin’ It Up.” Included among the song’s disgusting lyrics was this ode of disrespect to women:
Half the hoes hate me, half them love me
The ones that hate me only hate me cause they ain’t f*****d me
And they say I’m lucky; you think I got time
to f*** all these hoes and do all these shows?
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online