LeAlan Jones, the 30-year-old Green Party candidate for Barack Obama’s old Senate seat in Illinois, is as angry at injustice as he is at the African-American intellectual and political class that accommodates it. He does not buy Obama’s "post-racial" ideology or have much patience with African-American leaders who, hungry for prestige, power and money, have, in his eyes, forgotten the people they are supposed to represent. They have confused a personal ability to be heard and earn a comfortable living with justice.
Why should African-Americans join the Green Party?
Isn't the Green Party a "White" party?
Aren't the Democrats the party of "Our People?"
This is the kind of nonsense I get all the time as an active outspoken Black activist in the California Green Party. Want to see what a no-nosense Black Green looks and sounds like? Meet LeAlan Jones, Green Party candidate for Senate from Barack Obama's very on state of Illinois. His passion for speaking truth to power is precisely what is missing from the current "No Drama Obama" regime and a perfect counterpoint to disgraced Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich's hand-picked Democratic Party hack, Sen. Roland Burris.
See below some highlights of a column by Chris Hedges posted on the TruthDig web site:
Posted on Truthdig, Aug 3, 2009
"So Much for the Promised Land"
By Chris Hedges
LeAlan Jones, the 30-year-old Green Party candidate for Barack Obama’s old Senate seat in Illinois, is as angry at injustice as he is at the African-American intellectual and political class that accommodates it. He does not buy Obama’s "post racial" ideology or have much patience with African American leaders who, hungry for prestige, power and money, have, in his eyes, forgotten the people they are supposed to represent. They have confused a personal ability to be heard and earn a comfortable living with justice.
"The selflessness of leaders like Malcolm X, Dr. Martin Luther King, Harold Washington and Medgar Evers has produced selfishness within the elite African-American leadership," Jones told me by phone from Chicago.
"This is the only thing I can do to have peace of mind," he said when I asked him why he was running for office. "I am looking at a community that is suffering because of a lack of genuine concern from their leaders. This isn’t about a contract. This isn’t about a grant. This isn’t about who gets to stand behind the political elite at a press conference. This is about who is going to stand behind the people. What these leaders talk about and what needs to happen in the community is disjointed."
Jones began his career as a boy making radio documentaries about life in Chicago’s public housing projects on the South Side, including the acclaimed "Ghetto Life 101." He knows the world of which he speaks. He lives in the troubled Chicago neighborhood of Englewood, where he works as a freelance journalist and a high school football coach. He is the legal guardian of a 16-year-old nephew. And he often echoes the denunciations of black leaders by the historian Houston A. Baker Jr., who wrote "Betrayal: How Black Intellectuals Have Abandoned the Ideals of the Civil Rights Era."
Click the link below to view a good television news report on the Illinois Green Party Convention:
ABC News 15 in Champaign
Remember, this is home-turf of President Barack Obama. If Illinois Greens can speak truth to power like this in the "Land of Lincoln", then surely we can do as well in the tarnished "Golden State." My personal opinion is that it's past time for African-American progressives to leave that old 1960s Black Power era rhetoric to the dustbin of history and just go ahead and be the change we want to see. But that is just Alex Walker's eccentric view. The Green Party is and ought to be a big tent and I am delighted that a great young new leader like LeAlan Jones is in it.