TRANSCRIPT: Van Jones NAACP Image Award Acceptance Speech
We, at the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, congratulate our founder Van Jones for winning a 2010 NAACP Image Award. This award honors Van's innovative work in social justice and equality and comes on the heels of the news that Van will be joining the Center for American Progress, a progressive think tank, as well as the faculty at Princeton University.
(Transcript of Van Jones's speech accepting 2010 NAACP President's Award at the Image Awards)
VAN JONES: First of all giving honor to God and also to my mother Loretta Jean Kirkendall Jones--let me get it right. Get that right, straight! I want to thank my beautiful wife and our two boys Matai and Cabral. I want to thank the staff and supporters of Green for All, the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights and Color of Change, incredible freedom fighting organizations. I also want to give a shout out and a salute to President Barack Obama. President Barack Obama who is a world class leader, a man who volunteered to be the captain of the Titanic after it hit the iceberg, and we're still floating, and we're still floating. Let's stay with this president!
And I also want to thank the NAACP for encouraging me to continue in my quest. It took a lot of courage for Ben Jealous to nominate me for this award and to give to me this award. I appreciate that courage, and I appreciate the courage of the NAACP.
I have had 1,000 defeats in this past year, but I had one victory, and it's the most important victory to me: I don't hate anybody. I'm not mad at anybody, and I still believe in the politics of hope. I still believe! You can't take that from me. You can't take it from me.
And I know one thing, we have people in every community in America right now watching this program who don't have jobs, who are suffering, who are afraid, living in economic uncertainty, and I know there's a future out there for them where they get a chance to make the products of tomorrow. If we want the jobs of tomorrow, we have to make the products of tomorrow. There's somebody right now who's in Detroit, and they know how to make cars. They're a skilled machinist, but they're idle. Let them make the wind turbines and the smart batteries and the solar panels to repower this country. Let them work! Give them hope! Give them the opportunity!
There's somebody right now who's living in Appalachia, who's living in rural America, who's afraid she's going to lose her land because she doesn't have enough sources of income. Let her put those wind turbines up. Let her grow an energy crop. Give her the opportunity to hold on to her land and be a part of this energy revolution. Let's get everybody involved in repowering America in a clean way.
And for a country that beautiful, that prosperous, that innovative, that united, I am willing to walk through fire and brimstone and fire and brimstone until we get the job done.
The last thing I want to say is this. To my fellow countryman, Mr. Glenn Beck, I see you and I love you, brother. I love you and you cannot do anything about it. I love you and you cannot do anything about it. Let's be one country! Let's be one country. Let's get the job done.
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