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2022 New York Times DealBook

Van Jones on stage at the 2022 New York Times DealBook on November 30, 2022, in New York City. | Source: Thos Robinson / Getty

I‘m pretty sure there was a time when I used to like Van Jones. I’m not sure when that was. It was definitely before he started urging Black people to give Donald Trump his flowers because Trump “did good stuff for the Black community,” even though he really didn’t. It was certainly before Jones blamed Black people’s “lifestyle choices” for why we were disproportionately vulnerable to COVID-19. I couldn’t have possibly liked Van at any time after he attended CPAC and tap-danced to the tune of “Kumbaya, My White Nationalist Lord.” It must have been well before Jones baby-sat former presidential senior advisor Jared Kushner during an interview full of weak, softball questions as if Van’s show was Fox News in CNN clothing. It was definitely before he defended Melania Trump.

Or maybe I’m wrong and I actually never liked Van Jones. Maybe I just dreamed that I liked him once. Either way, I don’t mess with him now, after Jacob Kornbluh, a journalist at the Forward, a Jewish publication, reported that Jones apologized for antisemitism on behalf of Black people.

Kornbluh later recanted his report and tweeted the exact opposite — “To the contrary: [Jones] stressed that many in his community are speaking out forcefully — but the damage had already been done, renewing simmering tensions from Jones’ past comments about the Black community.

From Real Clear Politics:

Van Jones apologized on behalf of the black community for their “silence” over Kanye West’s recent praise of Hitler and Nazis in a speech at the United Jewish Appeal Federation of New York.

“Van Jones apologized to the Jewish community ‘for the silence of my community’ allowing ‘an African American icon praising Hitler and Nazis, and we act like we don’t know where that hatred came from,'” reported Jacob Kornbluh.

“The silence is over,” Jones said.

“We feel awful as long as we’re turning against each other,” Jones said. “We feel awful. But when we come together, we’re awesome. And we’re going to be awesome together.”

“The reason this country is a democracy at all is because Black and Jewish people have loved each other, and helped each other, and supported each other, and stood up for each other,” Jones said.

I just want to know: Who appointed Contemporary Aaron Burr to the position of Chief Ambassador of the Black Delegation? Who fished this man out of the sunken place and told him he could be the senior cookout spokesman for the African American alliance?

Who told the flip-flop king of slacktivism to stand before what was likely a largely white audience and speak on behalf of Black people?

Black Twitter has turned its sights on him once again after Kornbluh’s report.

Just because there are Black people out there defending Ye and agreeing with his antisemitic nonsense doesn’t mean anybody gets to go outside of the Black collective and treat us like a monolith that needs to be held accountable because of the inaccurate perception of “silence.”


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