The Obama White House is behind a cynical, coldly calculated political effort to erase the meaning of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks from the American psyche and convert Sept. 11 into a day of leftist celebration and statist idolatry.
This effort to reshape the American psyche has nothing to do with healing the nation and everything to do with easing the nation along in the ongoing radical transformation of America that President Obama promised during last year's election campaign. The president signed into law a measure in April that designated Sept. 11 as a National Day of Service, but it's not likely many lawmakers thought this meant that day was going to be turned into a celebration of ethanol, carbon emission controls, and radical community organizing.
The administration's plans were outlined in an Aug. 11 White House-sponsored teleconference call run by Obama ally Lennox Yearwood, president of the Hip Hop Caucus, and Liv Havstad, the group's senior vice president of strategic partnerships and programs.
Yearwood, who uses the honorific "Reverend" before his name, has been in the news in recent years, usually for getting arrested. After Democrats took back Congress, the rowdy activist was handcuffed outside a congressional hearing in September 2007 when Gen. David Petraeus was to testify. Yearwood told the "Democracy Now" radio program that he wanted to attend the hearing to hear Petraeus give his report. "I knew that when officers lie, soldiers die," he said.
On the Aug. 11 call, Yearwood and other leaders kept saying repeatedly that they wanted 9/11 to be used for something "positive," "forward-leaning," and "productive," said a source with knowledge of the teleconference.
The plan is to turn a "day of fear" that helps Republicans into a day of activism called the National Day of Service that helps the left. In other words, nihilistic liberals are planning to drain 9/11 of all meaning.
"They think it needs to be taken back from the right," said the source. "They're taking that day and they're breaking it because it gives Republicans an advantage. To them, that day is a fearful day."
A coalition including the unsavory left-wing pressure group Color of Change and about 60 far-left, environmentalist, labor, and corporate shakedown groups participated in the call. Groups on the call included: ACORN, AFL-CIO, Apollo Alliance, Community Action Partnership, Deep South Center for Environmental Justice, 80 Million Strong for Young American Jobs, Friends of the Earth, Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, Mobilize.org, National Black Police Association, National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, National Council of Negro Women, National Wildlife Federation, RainbowPUSH Coalition, Urban League, and Young Democrats of America.
Color of Change is the extremist racial grievance group that isn't happy that TV's Glenn Beck did several news packages on Van Jones, the self-described "communist" and "rowdy black nationalist" who became the president's green jobs czar after jumping on the environmentalist bandwagon. The White House may be behind a push to destroy Beck by convincing advertisers to stop buying time on his show. Jones was also on the board of the Apollo Alliance, a hard-left environmentalist group that is now running large chunks of the Obama administration. The group has acknowledged that it dictated parts of the February stimulus bill to Congress.
With the help of the Obama administration, the coalition is launching a public relations campaign under the radar of the mainstream media -- which remains almost uniformly terrified of criticizing the nation's first black president -- to try to change 9/11 from a day of reflection and remembrance to a day of activism, food banks, and community gardens.
"The organizing term is to 'go dark.' You don't tell the press, don't tell people you think will tell the press," said the source.
Of course, the annual commemoration of the 2001 terrorist attacks belongs to the entire nation, but President Obama and the activist left don't see it that way. They view the nationwide remembrance of the murder of 3,000 Americans by Islamic totalitarians as an obstacle to winning over the hearts and minds of the American people.
"When you criticize them, they are prepared to say, 'Did you want 9/11 to be another day of selling mattresses, like Presidents Day?" the source said. "They are truly trying to change the American mindset."
They view Sept. 11 as a "Republican" day because it focuses the public on supposedly "Republican" issues like patriotism, national security, and terrorism. According to liberals, 9/11 was long ago hijacked by Republicans and their enablers and unfairly used to bludgeon helpless Democrats at election time.
MSNBC's foremost left-wing bloviator, Keith Olbermann, summed up this ugly perspective the week after the Republican Party convention last year:
But 9/11 has become a brand name. A Republican campaign slogan. Propaganda of the lowest form. 9/11 has become 9/11 with a trademark logo. "9/11 TM" has sustained a president who long ago should have been dismissed, or impeached. It has kept him and his gang of financial and constitutional crooks in office without -- literally -- any visible means of support. "9/11 TM" has made possible the greatest sleight-of-hand in our nation's history.
On Aug. 4, the White House offered a glimpse into its plans to desecrate 9/11 for political advantage. Jones appeared in a largely ignored 33-minute video posted on the official blog of the White House to discuss the administration's plan to flush 9/11 down the memory hole just as it has tried to do by rechristening the Global War on Terror the "Overseas Contingency Operations."
Of this National Day of Service, Jones says little except that it will be a great opportunity "for people to connect, to find other people in your peer group who are also passionate about repowering America but also greening up America and cleaning up America."
On the same day, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson, and Department of Energy Under Secretary Kristina Johnson and activists held a low-key press conference. At it, Yearwood said the National Day of Service will be "the first milestone" of a larger effort called Green the Block that is attempting to convince Americans that the utopian fantasy of a so-called green economy is possible without turning the U.S. into a Third World country.
"From policy creation to community implementation, the Green the Block campaign wants to see access and opportunity created for all Americans, to build prosperity and a healthier planet for future generations," Yearwood said.
At no time does anyone explain why this National Day of Service has to be held -- of all the 365 days in a year -- on Sept. 11.
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