Here is a warning to conservatives while talking to Van Jones: your breathing can be considered a racist affront to his far superior arguments about the black race. Jones and Jeffrey Lord, a well reasoned conservative, butted heads over how Trump responded to an endorsement from David Duke and the KKK.
So attuned was Jones to how Trump responded to this group that the amount of passion, or inflection in his voice seemed to matter more than whether or not he disavowed the group in the first place. The same could be said for Chris Cuomo, CNN's passionate liberal news personality.
DAVID DUKE and the KKK
It all started when Duke, and/or the KKK endorsed Trump a day or two before the Super Tuesday vote, when Trump won a majority of states. The night of the vote, the nation (who happened to be watching CNN), watched Jones repeatedly claim that Trump needed to condemn the KKK just as much as he did ISIS, since the KKK is just as much a terrorist organization as is ISIS. Of course, this is illogical, since the KKK is quite unlike ISIS, and Muslim extremists who come to this country to kill Americans.
Although Jake Tapper may be the most balanced reporter at CNN, that’s not saying a lot.
Tapper, during an interview with Trump, essentially said the same thing: Trump should obviously condemn the KKK, more than what he did, or say exactly what Tapper and other liberals want him to say. But this is precisely why Trump is popular; he calls out the media for being dishonest and unfair. The same claim would never be suggested about Hillary Clinton, because she is a Democrat. What’s clear is that CNN is biased against Trump; of the three people on the panel with Lord, all of them were biased against Trump. Jones was just more adamant in his demands that Lord agree with him.
It’s a narrative that played out the press conference Trump held after his Tuesday night victories as well. A number of reporters were combative, and continued asking questions even though Trump answered them. Specifically, a female reporter attempted to push back on Trumps answer, and he cut her off, telling her that he gave a satisfactory answer. This, to Democrats at CNN, is being mean to reporters. This is going to be a big battle not only for people like Jones, but for staffers, on-air personalities at CNN, most of whom are biased against Republicans and Trump.
Lord’s point is that using race is exactly what the Democratic Party has been doing since the 60s, when they adamantly opposed Civil Rights legislation. Republicans are the ones who pushed Civil Rights legislation in the 60s. Republican presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower and Richard M. Nixon forced integration in schools in the South. In contrast, Democrats, led by U.S. Sen. Robert Byrd, a racist former Klan member, led a 57 day filibuster against Civil Rights legislation. Lord points this out to Jones, but it is lost on him. Jones acts like this part of history is not important.
Look at the other side of this; Democrats never condemned Byrd, and he never went on record to publicly condemn the KKK, at least not in his later years. Obama never condemned Byrd either. What Lord is saying is that people like Jones jump at any chance to condemn Republicans, but don’t have the same standard with Democrats.
LET WHITES TALK and BREATH
Democrats, liberals and blacklivesmatter people like Jones constantly interrupt people like Lord. At one point, Jones tells him what he needs to do. But this, again, is the liberal narrative; a black man like Jones lives on a higher level and has a right to be disrespectful to someone like Lord because he is white.
But the truth is that he does not think that a white Republican like Trump can be anything other than racist. Jones believes that no white person can really have compassion like a black person can. Lord shows Jones that history proves otherwise. Lord rightly brings up what the Kennedy brothers, and the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., said about race: that we should be a color-blind society; the Democrat Party has made sure, since the 60s, that our are society is not color blind, Lord says.
There is a certain amount of codependence in Jones - that he does not think that any Republican, including Lord, has a right to disagree with him. Or that he has to control what Lord says. This drives Jones crazy, and it did during their "debate." In this sense, he is like women in the blacklivesmatter movement; whites don't have a right to speak because they are white; it's the job of whites to listen to what blacks say. This is essentially what we get from Jones; I can talk more and interrupt you because I am black; you have to listen because you are white.
CNN got Jones and Lord together again the next morning; the result was no different; Jones talked twice as much as Lord, constantly interrupted him, and ended up just as frustrated as before because Lord blew up his logic again and again.
CAMEROTA CONSPIRACY THEORY
Alisyn Camerota watched Jones and Lord the next morning:
CAMEROTA: Jeffrey, were you using a diversionary tactic to go back 50, 60, 70 years, rather than back two days to what Donald Trump said where he did not give any sort of aggressive disavowal with Jake Tapper of the KKK. Why not just focus on today and the race today that we're talking about?
Camerota is searching for something that isn't there. Let’s say Trump did disavow the KKK over and over again; it would never be enough for liberal like Camerota at CNN. The next narrative would be: Oh, look, he had to say it more than once, multiple times in fact; he must have to remind himself that he does not like the KKK. If it was so hard for him to do it, it must mean that he really likes the KKK. He must be a racist. It’s the liberal conspiracy theory. We probe until we find something that we like. It's like the Ronald Reagan poop and pony story, except it's negative, almost gossip like.
And that’s what Jones is doing: looking, hoping for something that is not there; he wants to see racism in Trump, because it fits his narrative. Jones is probably still bitter about being fired from his position in the Obama administration that he was not qualified for. Democrats are also bitter about being the historical race losers in the civil rights movement in the 60s. They want to change history in that period, but they can't.
So convinced is Jones that Republicans must be racists that he makes up things that don't happen, like black people getting beat up at Trump rallies. Of course, this never happened. There are lots of people at Trump rallies who are black and are not getting beat up; people who are not supposed to be there, black lives matter people, are being removed, but they are certainly not getting beat up. It’s just that it plays better for Jones when it sounds like blacks are getting beaten up.
DIGGING DEEPER for NOTHING
Camerota continues with her conspiracy theory quest:
CAMEROTA: I mean, you keep going back to history, but what about today? Why wasn't -- Why don't you understand that Donald Trump's language, just on the Jake Tapper show, not what he tweeted later, was not satisfying to people who wanted a real full-throated disavowal?
CUOMO: Jeffrey, you understand in logic why that doesn't work. If you hold a position, you hold it every time. You don't fudge a position because you have said it before. That's not convincing.
JONES: Let me finish. For a long time they did horrible racist things. 50, 60 years ago. I say that is horrible. But guess what, those people left the Democratic Party and they joined your party. That is the problem. No, they literally left your party --
LORD: No -- That is simply not true.
CUOMO: I don't get why it is about party. Who cares?
Jones says Trump is playing “funny” with his comments about the KKK. (He may be using blackese, because most white people probably don't know what this means).
JONES: Trump is a strong white guy.
LORD: Strong guy (to correct Jones).
JONES: (Whispers) strong white guy.
That really says it all. Jones is all about the white guys, looking for how whites look at blacks. Lord is for a color blind society. He can't be color blind even when it counts, on CNN.
Then, probably the most important statement from Cuomo:
CUOMO: “(Trump) just didn’t behave the way he usually does. This is not a guy who minces words, this is not a guy who is careful. He is always over the top. Sometimes he backs off after it, which is a beautiful strategy of his. . . . it leaves you with an open question: why didn’t he say what he always says. It doesn’t mean anyone thinks he’s a racist or an opportunist. It’s just weird.”
To CNN’s credit, they are aware that Trump will most likely be the Republican nominee, and may very well be the next president. This is probably why they are going over Trump’s answers, responses with a fine tooth comb. At the same, time, it does seem a little irrational, when someone has no connection to the KKK, that an entire news organization acts like it wants to give Trump a lie detector or an elocution test to determine if he's a a racist.
© 2016 Larry Ingram
Based in St Louis,
Larry Ingram writes about the news media, movies and culture, as well as on topics like race, privilege, Christianity, religious expression and tolerance.
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