New York schools inaugurated a new “human rights” curriculum last week that promotes the work and teachings of Van Jones, president Obama’s former “green jobs” czar.
Jones resigned in September 2009 after it was exposed he founded a communist revolutionary organization and signed a statement that accused the Bush administration of possible involvement in the 9/11 attacks.
Jones also called for “resistance” against the U.S., among other revelations of his extremist rhetoric and ideology.
Last Friday, students in classrooms across New York state participated in a webcast to launch the new curriculum, entitled “Speak Truth to Power.” Presented in conjunction with the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights, the webcast was broadcast live from Chestnut Ridge Middle School in Spring Valley, N.Y.
The curriculum revolves around a book, also entitled “Speaking Truth To Power,” that presents 17 “human rights” defenders, including Jones.
Other so-called defenders include Bangladeshi economist Muhammad Yunus, who was recently accused of misusing humanitarian aid; the Dalai Lama and South African activist Desmond Tutu.
Both Yunus and Tutu are founders of The Global Elders, which has gone on solidarity visits to leaders of the Hamas and Hezbollah terrorist organizations.
A website for the new curriculum describes the lessons as “introducing general human rights issues through the stories of some remarkable people working in the field and urges students to become personally involved in the protection of human rights.”
The “Speaking Truth To Power” textbook profile of Jones fails to mention his radical history.
“From March to September 2009, Jones worked as the special adviser for green jobs at the White House Council for Environmental Quality,” states the profile, which does not mention that Jones resigned amid controversy.
The profile goes on to state Jones founded the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, describing the organization as “a strategy center for documenting and exposing human rights violations in the United States – particularly those perpetuated by law enforcement.”
However, as WND reported, Baker was an avowed socialist who worked closely with communist activists. She also participated in events that were close to the radical Weathermen domestic terrorist group founded by Bill Ayers, President Obama’s associate for many years.
The textbook profile also notes Jones founded Bay Area Police Watch, which is described as being “committed to stopping police misconduct and protecting victims of abuse.”
Jones’ Police Watch group, however, has been widely accused of demonizing local police. WND reported Jones signed a petition calling for nationwide “resistance” against police, accusing them of using the 9/11 attacks to carry out policies of torture.
Jones was a founder and leader of the communist revolutionary organization Standing Together to Organize a Revolutionary Movement, or STORM.
Speaking to the East Bay Express, Jones said he first became radicalized in the wake of the 1992 Rodney King riots, during which time he was arrested.
“I was a rowdy nationalist on April 28th, and then the verdicts came down on April 29th,” he said. “By August, I was a communist.
“I met all these young radical people of color – I mean really radical: communists and anarchists. And it was, like, ‘This is what I need to be a part of.’ I spent the next 10 years of my life working with a lot of those people I met in jail, trying to be a revolutionary,” he said.
Succeeding revelations about Jones by WND included:
- One day after the 9/11 attacks, Jones led a vigil that expressed solidarity with Arab and Muslim Americans as well as what he called the victims of “U.S. imperialism” around the world.
- Just days before his White House appointment, Jones used a forum at a major youth convention to push for a radical agenda that included spreading the wealth and “changing the whole system.”
- Jones’ Maoist manifesto while leading the group Standing Together to Organize a Revolutionary Movement, or STORM, was scrubbed from the Internet after being revealed by WND.
- Jones was the main speaker at an anti-war rally that urged “resistance” against the U.S. government – a demonstration sponsored by an organization associated with the Revolutionary Communist Party.
- In a 2005 conference, Jones characterized the U.S. as an “apartheid regime” that civil rights workers helped turn into a “struggling, fledgling democracy.”
Meanwhile, “Speaking Truth To Power” seeks to expand globally.
Already, the group boasts its curriculum has been disseminated to hundreds of thousands of students in the U.S., Europe and Africa.
“A model country for this educational initiative is Italy, where the 12-week course has been taught to over 250,000 students. The human rights education curriculum is also being taught in South Africa and Romania,” states the group’s website.
U.S. schoolbook glorifies communists
The textbook is not the first to glorify Jones and other anti-American radicals.
WND reported another book for high-school students glorifies communists and socialists, including Jones.
The work, “Americans Who Tell the Truth,” has been used in schools across the U.S., according to its author. The book, however, does not inform readers of the extremist backgrounds of the personalities upheld as heroes.
Robert Shatterly, creator of the book project, told WND last February the work features portraits and brief descriptions of dozens of personalities who are “role models for citizenship in the attempt to win democracy.”
Shatterly said his book, and a related traveling art exhibit featuring the same personalities, have been featured in many U.S. schools. He also posted an online curriculum for educators to teach American history through the lives of the personalities in his book.
Kathleen Jackson, who teaches 7th and 8th grades at Marin Country Day School in California, said she has used the book for her students.
In an e-mail interview with WND, Jackson said she is pleased with the reaction of children who read “Americans Who Tell the Truth.”
“Once (students) enter the book, see the faces and read the personal beliefs and biographies of those Rob has painted, a new world begins to open for them,” Jackson said. “They ask about strip mining, war, pesticides, corporations, freedom of speech, racism.
“Students, people of all ages, need to be aware of others in our society who see the truth, tell the truth and take action when the truth is damaging the environment, the impoverished, and the oppressed, and when bombs, guns and steel bars are imposed on innocent and desperate people,” Jackson told WND.
Among the personalities glorified in the book are anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan and singer and communist activist Pete Seeger.
The book, however, does not describe the radicalism of the subjects who are upheld as heroes. Among those are:
- Noam Chomsky, whom the book identifies only as an academic and “political activist – a role he vigorously assumed as an early and outspoken critic and protester of the Vietnam War.”
The book does not state Chomsky is a radical who has openly championed communism and has routinely made solidarity visits with enemies of the U.S.
- Amy Goodman, host of the online news network Democracy Now. The book only identifies the network as “free of all corporate underwriting” and does not inform readers Democracy Now is a far-left network that has taken a pro-socialist stance.
- Edward Said, a professor and Palestinian activist. The book states Said’s “activism exiled him from Israel and Palestine for most of his life and provoked criticism in this country.” However, the book did not state Said expressed solidarity with Palestinian “resistance” against Israel, or that he once was a member of the Palestinian National Council but broke away because he thought PLO Leader Yasser Arafat was too moderate.
- Rachel Corrie, an American activist who died as a human shield while attempting to prevent Israeli forces from demolishing the home of a Palestinian pharmacist. The book states Corrie was a member of the International Solidarity Movement, or ISM, but doesn’t identify the group other than to state, “The ISM, founded in 2001, looks worldwide for people to help with their nonviolent protests against the Israeli military in the West Bank.”
The ISM also has been accused of interfering in Israeli anti-terror operations, serving as human shields to protect terrorists and even harboring wanted terrorists in their offices.
- Ella Baker.
- Van Jones.