Van Jones: "An American citizen was assassinated in broad daylight by a Nazi ... This is not a time to talk about both sides"
Jones: "People watching this show gave their lives to stop Nazism. Dr. King gave his life to stop the Klan. This is not a time to talk about both sides. Maybe tomorrow. Maybe the day after tomorrow."
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From the August 13 edition of CNN's State of the Union:
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VAN JONES: It’s almost painful to have to point this out. This is -- you are correct that there is a problem of extremism in this country that cuts across. But this is a day in which after an American citizen was assassinated in broad daylight by a Nazi. A Nazi, who the day before had been marching with torches down American streets saying anti-Jewish, anti-black stuff, and then an American -- this not a time to talk about both sides. Both sides are not using ISIS tactics, mowing people down with cars in the streets of America. Both sides are not trying to defend a horrific -- grandparents, great grandparents, the people watching this show gave their lives to stop Nazism. Dr. King gave his life to stop the Klan. This is not a time to talk about both sides. Maybe tomorrow. Maybe the day after tomorrow. But the president of the United States needs to come out and say, "My daughter is Jewish." He could have said. If you're going to go off script, go off script and say, "My daughter's Jewish. My son-in-law is Jewish. I don't want this in my country." Go off script and say that. Don't go off script and say, "many sides, many sides." That sends a signal to people that this is all right, and it's not all right.
JAKE TAPPER (HOST): And I think one of the issues here -- and, Michael [Caputo], I'll come back to you is that there are people who think, including Bill [Kristol] just enunciated this, that this isn't a mistake. This is on purpose.
NINA TURNER: Well, the president had a fine opportunity, Jake, and I think he still does. He needs to stand up and say this was not by happenstance. What those KKK-inspired riots did -- it was very strategic to start at night, to have candlelit torches in their hands, to march in formation in that way. It's very reminiscent of why the KKK came to life in the first place after the Civil War to rain terror down on African-Americans. And, so, the president has to be very strong and cannot equivocate that racism and bigotry will not be tolerated. And I think I saw something that Bill said or wrote in a tweet, which is, "I don't want your votes." But this is the overtness of what they did, because we know that covertly racism and discrimination and bigotry still exist in this country, but the fact that these people feel so emboldened and folks want to talk about both sides? I'm with Van on this. Both sides? No. There was only one side. And we got to continue to have the people who believe in the promise of this country to continue to push or drag us forward because we are a country of progress. And what we saw happen yesterday and the day before is very indicative. It's in the DNA of this country. So it always boggles my mind when people get up and say, “This is not what our country is about. This is not what we were founded on.” Oh, no. We were founded on discrimination, racism, bigotry, and hatred, but the one thing that we can say is that we have been a nation of progress, and we are losing that progress in the 21st century.