Mary Matalin Lectures Van Jones On How To Behave As A Black Man
Van Jones: "I'm A Ninth Generation American Man And I'm The First One In My Family Born With All My Rights ... We Have Not Escaped, Because I Went To Yale, All The Problems Of This Country"
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From the November 13 edition of ABC's This Week with George Stephanopoulos:
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MARY MATALIN: Van has, to my mind, retracted your whitelash with what you just said -- No, that we have to not focus totally on the toxic stuff -- OK, but you should, and if you don't you're wrong. You are not -- that's not the path for progressives. We've all agreed at the outset of this show that the path, which is Ellison's message, you say, is to go back to the rust belt and the rednecks -- you're not going to get there with climate change and Putin and all the rest of --
KATRINA VANDEN HEUVEL: People in South Carolina who run hotels, who understand their self-interests, they will be overrun by rivers and water if they don't deal, deal with climate crisis.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS (HOST): Now we're just about out of time -- the allegation of whitelash --
JONES: Now listen, I said and stand by it. I said that race was a part and there was a part, that alt-right part, it was a part of a whitelash. If you listened to the whole quote you would agree with what I said, so I don't take that back --
MATALIN: I did listen and you said "what do I tell the kids." What I would tell your kids, "I'm a black man in America who went to Yale, who's written books, who served a president and now --"
JONES: And I'm a ninth generation American man and I'm the first one in my family born with all my rights. I'm a ninth generation American, and so we have not escaped, because I went to Yale, all the problems of this country.
MATALIN: You should not be a racial polemicist. You should be a racial reconciler.
JONES: You should be ashamed of yourself for attempting to say that to my face. I have spent more time --
MATALIN: Would I say it behind your back would be better?
JONES: I spent more time than you have trying to be a racial reconciler in this country.
MATALIN: Really? How do you know that? Do you know anything about me?
JONES: Apparently you don't know anything about me.
JONES: This is a problem we have right now. It is in fact the case that there was a populist revolt in this country. Both Sanders and Trump, but one of them was marbled through with this alt-right stuff. If someone like myself who is married to a white woman, who has spent my entire life building bridges can't point out the alt-right whitelash reaction without being accused of being a racial polemicist we're going to have a big problem in this country.
VANDEN HEUVEL: Have you no sense of decency to say that to a man who has been a healer throughout a horrific, brutal campaign, he has spoken sanity to power. And to those who --
MATALIN: OK. My deepest apologies. You don't know anything about me. You don't know anything about my healing and I would say there are ways to get to reconciliation different from calling -- focusing on the toxic elements as you did on election night.
JONES: You have to talk about both.