Just days before his White House appointment, Van Jones, President Obama's environmental adviser, used a forum at a major youth convention to push for what can easily be interpreted as a communist or socialist agenda.
As WND previously reported, Van Jones, special adviser for green jobs, enterprise and innovation to the White House Council on Environmental Quality, is an admitted black nationalist and radical communist.
Jones' appointment was announced on March 10.
Two weeks before he started his White House job, however, Jones delivered the keynote address at Power Shift '09, which was billed as the largest youth summit on climate change in history. A reported 12,000 young people were at the D.C. Convention Center for the event.
During his speech, available on YouTube, Jones threw around terms like "eco-apartheid" and "green for some," and preached about spreading the wealth while positing a call to "change the whole system."
In one section of his twenty-minute speech, Jones referenced "our Native American brothers and sisters" who, he claimed, were "pushed," "bullied," "mistreated" and "shoved into all the land that we didn't want."
"Guess what?" Jones continued. "Give them the wealth! Give them then wealth! No justice on stolen land ... we owe them a debt."
"We have to create a green economy, that's true, that's true. But we have to create a green economy that Dr. King would be proud of," he exclaimed.
Jones spoke about using what he termed an environmental revolution to push for other policies, including anti-war activism.
"If all you did was have a clean energy revolution, you wouldn't have done anything. ... You'll have bio-fueled bombers and we'll be fighting wars over lithium for the batteries instead of oil for the engines," he said to applause.
"This movement is deeper than solar power. ... Don't stop there! We are going to change the whole system!" he exclaimed.
The White House did not return multiple WND requests the past few weeks seeking comment on how Jones was screened for his position and whether the White House knew of his admitted radical past.
Jones on 9-11: Blame U.S. 'imperialism'
Last week, WND reported 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.
Jones was the leader and founder of a radical group, the communist revolutionary organization Standing Together to Organize a Revolutionary Movement, or STORM. That group, together with Jones' Elle Baker Center for Human Rights, led a vigil Sept. 12, 2001, at Snow Park in Oakland, Calif.
STORM's official manifesto, titled, "Reclaiming Revolution," surfaced on the Internet.
A WND review of the 97-page treatise found a description of a vigil that Jones' group held Sept. 12, 2001, at Snow Park in Oakland, Calif. The event drew hundreds and articulated an "anti-imperialist" line, according to STORM's own description.
The radical group's manual boasted the 9/11 vigil was held to express solidarity with Arab and Muslim Americans and to mourn the civilians killed in the terrorist attacks "as well as the victims of U.S. imperialism around the world."
"We honored those who lost their lives in the attack and those who would surely lose their lives in subsequent U.S. attacks overseas," STORM's manifesto recalls.
Also, WND obtained a press release of Jones' vigil, dated Sept. 11, 2001, and titled, "People Of Color Groups Gather to Stand In Solidarity With Arab Americans and to Mourn the East Coast Dead."
"Anti-Arab hostility is already reaching a fever pitch as pundits and common people alike rush to judgment that an Arab group is responsible for this tragedy," stated Jones in the release hours after the 9/11 attacks.
"We fear that an atmosphere is being created that will result in official and street violence against Arab men, women and children," he said.
Last week, Fox News Channel's Glenn Beck drew attention to a section of STORM's manual that describes Jones' organization as having a "commitment to the fundamental ideas of Marxism-Leninism."
"We agreed with Lenin's analysis of the state and the party," reads the manifesto. "And we found inspiration in the revolutionary strategies developed by Third World revolutionaries like Mao Zedong and Amilcar Cabral."
Cabral is the late Marxist revolutionary leader of Guinea-Bissau and the Cape Verde Islands.
WND previously reported Jones named his son after Cabral and reportedly concludes every e-mail with a quote from the communist leader.
STORM's newsletter boasted "we also saw our brand of Marxism as, in some ways, a reclamation."
STORM worked with known communist leaders. It led the charge in black protests against various issues, including a local attempt to pass Proposition 21, a ballot initiative that sought to increase the penalties for violent crimes and require more juvenile offenders to be tried as adults.
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.
Trevor Loudon, a researcher and opponent of communism who runs the New Zeal blog, identified several Bay Area communists who worked with STORM, including Elizabeth Martinez, who helped advise Jones' Ella Baker Human Rights Center, which Jones founded to advocate civil justice. Jones and Martinez also attended a "Challenging White Supremacy" workshop together.
Martinez was a longtime Maoist who went on to join the Communist Party USA breakaway organization Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism, or CCDS, in the early 1990s, according to Loudon. Martinez still serves on the CCDS council and is also a board member of the Movement for a Democratic Society, where she sits alongside former Weathermen radicals Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn.
STORM eventually fell apart amid bickering among its leaders.
Jones then moved on to environmentalism. He used his Ella Baker Center to advocate "inclusive" environmentalism and launch a Green-Collar Jobs Campaign, which led to the nation's first Green Jobs Corps in Oakland, Calif.
At the Clinton Global Initiative in 2007, Jones announced the establishment of Green For All, which in 2008 held a national green conference in which most attendees were black. Jones also released a book, "The Green Collar Economy," which debuted at No.12 on the New York Times' bestseller list – the first environmental book written by an African American to make the list.
Jones, formerly a self-described "rowdy black nationalist," boasted in a 2005 interview with the left-leaning East Bay Express that his environmental activism was a means to fight for racial and class "justice."
Jones was president and founder of Green For All, a nonprofit organization that advocates building a so-called inclusive green economy.
Until recently, Jones was a longtime member of the board of Apollo Alliance, a coalition of labor, business, environmental and community leaders that claims on its website to be "working to catalyze a clean energy revolution that will put millions of Americans to work in a new generation of high-quality, green-collar jobs."