One of CNN’s more reasonable voices triggered massive outrage among the extremist left Wednesday by praising President Donald Trump for his successful criminal justice reform efforts.
“Give the man his due,” political commentator Van Jones wrote on Twitter. “[Trump] is on his way to becoming the uniter-in-Chief on an issue that has divided America for generations. Congrats to everyone on both sides who fought for this.”
Give the man his due: @realDonaldTrump is on his way to becoming the uniter-in-Chief on an issue that has divided America for generations. Congrats to everyone on both sides who fought for this. #FIRSTSTEPact #CriminalJusticeSummit #CriminalJusticeReform #justicereform #Trump https://t.co/G9kI1C3gXy
— Van Jones (@VanJones68) November 14, 2018
Earlier Wednesday the president announced his support for the First Step Act, a bipartisan bill currently being drafted by the Senate “that would diminish criminal penalties for some offenders and make it easier for former inmates to find work,” according to NBC News.
“In many respects, we’re getting very much tougher on the truly bad criminals — of which, unfortunately, there are many. But we’re treating people differently for different crimes. Some people got caught up in situations that were very bad,” he said during the announcement.
The announcement came after months of meetings between Trump and various criminal justice reform advocates, including rapper Kanye West and his wife, socialite Kim Kardashian.
These meetings led to the president commuting the sentence of a first-time nonviolent drug offender and grandmother who’d been sentenced to life decades ago for cocaine possession.
Speaking later Wednesday evening on CNN, Jones doubled down on his praise, saying, “I say the 99 times I don’t agree with the president I’m going to give him hell.”
“On this one, I’ll give him a salute and applause. If you can’t put politics aside to help people who are suffering and struggling in prison when there’s a shot to do something on a bipartisan basis, then I think we’ve taken politics too far.”
For this willingness to look beyond political differences for the greater good, Jones has become persona non grata on social media, where left-wing extremists have derided him as everything from an “Uncle Tom” to a “coon,” “sellout” and “disgrace.”
Note that some of the people calling him these terms are white.
— Michelle L. Quinn (@Broad) November 15, 2018
— Black Warrior Queen (@sheriestarr) November 15, 2018
— Garrett Felber (@garrett_felber) November 15, 2018
You can’t be serious he has people do this they sit around and come up with an idea and he just puts his horrid signature on a piece of paper! you giving him credit is a disgrace!
— Hazel ???☮? (@HazelM1966) November 15, 2018
Van Jones is a disgrace! It’s one thing to show an appreciation for the signed reform bill, but another to add your special narrative as *Unifier-in-Chief!*Take off the ‘get-wit’ hat, it’s embarrassing for anyone who worked under Obama!
— #IMPEACHTRUMPNOW???? (@akahelen223) November 15, 2018
Several blue check mark leftists joined the chorus, though their rhetoric was marginally less extreme.
I love @VanJones68 but i disagree with this sentiment calling 45 “uniter in chief”. If I get punched in the face 25 times by someone and then they stop for a few minutes and get me an ice pack, that doesn’t make them a peaceful healer all of a sudden. He’s not a “uniter” at all
— Behzad Dabu (@BehzadDabu) November 15, 2018
i want to say i can’t believe you’re still falling for this nonsense but honestly, i can believe it. https://t.co/TjNThNoy5e
— Oliver Willis (@owillis) November 15, 2018
Van, why are you playing nice with Nazis?
— Chanda Prescod-Weinstein ??♀️ ??? (@IBJIYONGI) November 15, 2018
A select few social media users praised Jones. Included among them was Joel Pollak, the Breitbart editor whom the media have claimed is the real extremist.
“I have to commend [Jones] and other leaders in the black community who have rejected the all-or-nothing approach that has dominated our politics for 10 years and seized the opportunity of incremental compromise to build further trust — with police! — toward shared goals,” he tweeted Thursday.
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