Political analyst Van Jones was confronted with a sobering reality during a Friday appearance on “The View” Friday, after co-host Sunny Hostin questioned him regarding accusations of being a “political opportunist.”
Van Jones forged into national prominence during the Obama administration where he served as the Special Adviser for Green Jobs in 2009.
However in the years since his comments, and alliances have raised eyebrows. A lot of the blowback transpired after the election of Donald Trump, where Black audiences voiced disappointment in Jones taking a “balanced” approach regarding the former administration’s actions, resulting in policies which were overwhelmingly detrimental to Black and underserved communities.
Jones appeared on the show to discuss his new book, “The Reunited States,” but there was more in store.
“Now Van you do spend a lot of time threading the middle and trying to unite people, but there are those who really accuse you of being a political opportunist, a chameleon so to speak, who provided racial coverage for former disgraced, twice impeached President Trump.
Hostin then referred to a quote where Van alleged Trump “did good stuff for the Black community,” citing advances in “opportunity zones” and Black colleges.
“People in the Black community don’t trust you anymore, what is your response?” Sunny asked.
Jones denied that he’s untrustworthy figure in the community and instead blamed social media for taking his comments out of context.
“My entire life has been about bringing people together to solve tough problems for people at the very the bottom who don’t have anything. I have spent 25 years fighting against the prison system. I have helped to close five abusive prisons, and by working with Republicans at the local, state and federal level, and yes including the Trump administration, I have helped to pass 18 bipartisan bills. We got 14,000 people out of the federal prison system,” Jones said.
He also touted his efforts related to releasing prisoners due to COVID-19 measures.
“Whoever is in that White House, I have a responsibility to go in there and advocate,” he continued.
Jones may not agree with his assessment however, Black community members have repeatedly called Jones to the carpet over the fact that words do matter, especially when you hold a public platform which should be used to call truth to power.
Jones is allowed to work on bipartisan efforts which help improve the lives of Black people, but what he’s not allowed to do is take a “let’s hear both sides” approach when Black people in America and across the globe are suffering tremendously under the ramifications of Trump’s four years in office.
While there are certain conversations that need to stay within the realm of Black Twitter, this was definitely not one of them. Thank you Sunny for pressing Jones on a topic that is widely discussed among the Black delegation, but rarely brought to the mainstream.
It’s definitely the accountability for us on day five of Black History Month.