Environmental activist Van Jones is spreading his wings, launching a “Rebuild the Dream” movement, which is primarily aimed at helping thousands of middle-class workers who have lost their jobs, their homes and their livelihoods in the past few years.
The Huffington Post’s Lucas Kavner reports that Jones stood before a packed house at New York City’s performance venue Town Hall, delivering an hourlong speech complete with charts, diagrams, videos and graphics. The American people have been “robbed,” he said, and we must restore the American dream to this country.
“We are being lied to,” Jones repeated throughout the evening. “We are not broke. We’re the richest country in the history of the world.”
If the country were actually broke, he said, how come only some of us are truly suffering? Jones delivered the fact that 83 percent of U.S. stocks belong to the top 1 percent of Americans, while 21 percent of American children are living below the poverty line.
“There used to be an iron link between pay and productivity,” he said, adding a challenge to the rich: “If you do well in America, you should do well by America.”
Throughout Jones’ speech, many references were also made to the Tea Party movement, as Jones essentially framed “Rebuild the Dream” as a less partisan attempt to organize progressive thinkers into a similar collective.
“We are not fighting against our opponents; we’re fighting for them, too,” he said. “This is a moral movement.”
He listed the four main lies that are being spread. The first lie: We’re broke. The second: Asking the superrich to pay taxes hurts America’s economy. Third: Hating on America’s government and wrecking America’s infrastructure is patriotic. The fourth: We’re helpless against Wall Street.
“We are not helpless,” Jones said. “They just want us to shut up, sit down and suffer.”