The Rev. Jesse Jackson came to Detroit last weekend pushing green jobs for the U.S. economy. On Monday, the Cadillac Escalade carrying him around the city was stolen and stripped. Does building replacement $1000 rims count as "green jobs?"
Jackson came to Detroit as part of UAW President Bob King's "Jobs, Justice and Peace" march on Sunday, which drew about 5,000 people to a combination protest and Democratic Party spirit parade. A few days before the rally, Jackson wrote a piece for CNN.com laying out its goals:
A key component of stable job growth is our nation's energy policy. If our country gets serious about energy savings and independence from oil, we could rebuild domestically and power the U.S. economy with American jobs...Ending the subsidies that make dirty fuels artificially cheap can spark a shift in infrastructure development, create more jobs and allow America to become more self-sufficient.
A day after the rally, the 2009 Cadillac Escalade SUV that Jackson used to get around Detroit went missing from a parking lot near his hotel. According to WXYZ-TV, the SUV was later found abandoned, with the window busted and its wheels gone, similar to the jacking of a SUV used by Detroit Mayor Dave Bing's security.
Do we really need to point out the contradiction of advocating for green jobs and against "dirty fuels" while traveling in a vehicle that averages 14 miles to every gallon of gasoline? Convincing people that saving the environment requires some sacrifices such as higher cost for fuel begins at difficult; doing so while not just avoiding sacrifices, but squeezing the very resources one wants conserved can only be read as hypocrisy.
It's only Jackson's misfortune that it was his SUV taken; in Washingon, D.C., alone, scores of such vehicles are likely idling right now, keeping their interiors cool with fresh air so that their important passengers aren't the least bit inconvenienced.
One way to tackle global warming would be to raise the price of gas so that it's hidden extra costs would be recognized and dealt with. Another way is to simply burn off all the gas left until there's no choice but to consider alternatives. Americans might be more likely to think about the first option if so many of their leaders didn't live their lives through the second.
Photo Credit: Rashaun Rucker/Detroit Free Press