Van Jones weighs in on President Donald Trump’s comments on race relations at an economic roundtable event in Dallas on Thursday and what he believes is a “populist uprising against the status quo.”
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Van, I mean, the event today was billed as a roundtable on justice disparities. He didn’t focus on police violence against African Americans. He didn’t talk about systematic racism or, you know, he’s trying to make this you know, thugs in the streets, calling police officers “decent” quote-unquote Americans, racists and bigots. Most of the people I know, the protesters, are talking about systematic problems within police forces, not necessarily even individuals and everybody is a racist. It is systematic problems that are ingrained in the justice system, in the healthcare system, in the education system, and on and on. VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, listen. The mere fact that we’re having this conversation to this level. I’m not going to let anybody steal my joy today. Yes, we’re now trying to explain systemic racism in a country where NASCAR says we’re not going to fly the Confederate flags anymore, where the NFL is apologizing for not supporting our peaceful protests earlier. The dominoes are falling in one direction through corporate America, through the young people of America. The irony here is that Donald Trump got into office by navigating the choppy waters of a populist uprising in the country in our party, you have the Bernie Sanders uprising in his party with a Donald Trump uprising. He should understand and recognize a populist uprising when he sees one. But instead, this is a populist uprising against the status quo on race in this country. We are tired of his videos. We’re tired of the stuff that is going on. And he is having a hard time navigating it because it doesn’t fit with what he expects from populism in the country. But this is a populist uprising, too. And so I’m not going to let anybody steal my joy. We don’t even know what we’re in right now. We are in a moment that maybe history will call maybe a Great Awakening, where people have come together. There is a new consensus that has emerged and people are moving on to get stuff done at all levels of society that the Trump administration still has an opportunity to be a more constructive part of this process. But the reality is, the reason he is even talking about this and the reason that we’re talking about this is because millions — tens of millions of ordinary Americans black, white and otherwise are in the streets right now wanting a better way forward, and the dominoes are falling in only one direction.