Welcome to the Evolving Man Project’s ‘Evolved Man of the Week’ profile. Each week, we highlight an individual who embodies what it means to be an evolved man, famous and non-famous men alike. The world needs to know their stories and deeds. This week’s honor goes to political activist, social commenter, Washington insider, social entrepreneur, author, and attorney Van Jones. Last week after the surprise election of Donald J. Trump, Van Jones made headlines with his controversial and truth soaked remarks on CNN about white identity politics. Here is Mr. Jones, words from last week’s election:
“This was a white-lash against a changing country,” he said. “It was a white-lash against a black president in part, and that’s the part where the pain comes. And Donald Trump has a responsibility tonight to come out and reassure people that he is going to be the president of all the people who he insulted and offended and brushed aside.“
In a recent interview with Mother Jones Magazine, Mr. Jones dives deeper into what swept Donald Trump into the halls of power in D.C. He spoke of rejection of establishment politics; millions of disenfranchise working class voters, and the rebellion against liberal and conservative elites world-views. But these sentiments were still wrapped in a veil in bigotry with the Trump phenomenon:
“Now, the Trump phenomenon has a lot of really good stuff in it, the anti-elitism, the concern for America’s economy in the Rust Belt, the desire to see better days for the country. That’s all great stuff. Some of that stuff is Bernie Sanders stuff. The problem is that it’s marbled through with xenophobia and misogyny and bigotry. The problem that we have in the country now is, some people only see the positive stuff and wave off the toxic stuff, and some people only see the toxic stuff and wave off the positive stuff. You can’t have an honest conversation.”
Van Jones was born in Jackson, TN and attended Jackson Central- Merry High School. He would go on to earn a B.S. degree in communication and political science at University of Tennessee at Martin. He served as an intern at the Jackson Sun newspaper. He is a former advisor in the Obama administration, president of Dream Corps, and he’s a regular CNN contributor. He is the author of two books in regards to environmentalism, The Green Collar Economy and Rebuild the Dream. Through the years Mr. Jones has received numerous awards and honors, like the NAACP President’s Award, Global Green USA, “Community Environmental Leadership’ award, World Economic Forum ‘Young Global Leader”, Rolling Stone Magazine, “12 Leaders Who Get Things Done, David E. Glover Vanguard Award, and Time Most 100 influential People in the World. Mr. Van Jones is reflective in the New Coming Era of Trump:
“Hopefully this will open up our eyes to how fragile democracy is and how key civility is to civilization. Civility isn’t just some optional value in a multicultural, multistate democratic republic. Civility is the key to civilization. Everybody got through it with their kids as best they could. If you’re a Muslim parent, if you’re a Latino parent, you’re still going through it. For the rest of us who have a little bit of privilege, maybe we should be a little bit more tender-hearted.”
Van Jones activism and work around race, culture, politics, and the Green movement is well noted. Today, we honor Van Jones has this week’s Evolved Man of the Week.