Unlike many of his peers at CNN, network host Van Jones sees great benefit in compromise and bipartisanship. That’s why the left-wing political commentator felt no qualms about aligning himself with President Donald Trump last year to push for historic criminal justice reform.
That’s also why he spoke at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference last month. Instead of viewing Republicans as his enemies, he’s chosen to see them as his brothers and sisters — albeit brothers and sisters with whom he clearly disagrees on a variety of issues.
This same attitude of bipartisanship and camaraderie was on display this Saturday evening on his weekly CNN program, “The Van Jones Show.” Speaking about the tragic death last week of rapper Nipsey Hussle reportedly at the hands of a gangbanger, he warned that the same Bloods vs Crips mentality of hatred that plagues the inner city has infected the political realm as well.
“Bloods versus Crips. Blue bandannas versus red bandannas. Both sides have their reasons, and some of them are legitimate, but these blue versus red fights escalate to the point of community self-destruction, and we all say it’s gotta end,” he said in an eloquent closing statement.
“But who today has the authority to tell anybody to stop the madness, because even among the elites, it’s the same thing — blue versus red, blue Democrats versus red Republicans using their weapons to kill each other off as best they can with more sophisticated means and methods.”
“So both sides got their reasons for their righteousness, but if they keep going, we’re going to have national self-destruction.”
While the temptation among the more hardliner elements of the liberal and conservative bases might be to dismiss Jones’ warning as silly, was what he said really wrong, though?
Can you as a conservative find a single positive thing to say about former President Barack Obama? How about members of the so-called “Resistance” — is there a chance that any one of them could put aside their loathing for President Donald Trump for just a sec to say something nice about him?
“Peace and prayers to Nipsey’s family,” Jones added in conclusion of his statement. “But let’s not point fingers at the hood. What’s wrong with those people? What’s wrong with all of us?”
To some, it clearly is:
GOP is the problem. Next question.
— Tim Giles (@TimGiles01) April 7, 2019
It all started when the gop starting fighting with Obama. They made it personal. They couldn’t stand that America elected a black president and they still resent it to this day.
— #TrueTexan?? (@Rontruetexan) April 7, 2019
Sorry but this is just a silly analogy. Patiently waiting for a Republican to snitch on Trump and bring that whole corrupt gang down.
— Lasey Just (@LaseyJust) April 7, 2019
Because you and others in the media portray the fighting between Republicans and Democrats as “Both sides are bad,” when, in reality, the Republicans have done FAR worse. Oh, also, why are you hanging out with the Kushners?! Laughing it up with murderous Jared, really?!
— Rob Voreck (@RobVoreck) April 7, 2019
It doesn’t help to have a divisive and vindictive orange Vulgarian in the White House. I feel like even Trump voters have to admit his presence has corsened the discourse and affected how we treat each other. Niceness is out. Bullying is in. #DumpTrump
— GinaMcGalliard ??♀️☘️? (@GinaMcGalliard) April 7, 2019
According to elements of the far-left, it’s Trump’s fault that divisiveness has peaked. Never mind polling data from the Obama years showing that divisiveness skyrocketed under his presidency.
But you’re mistaken if you think only liberals reacted with self-righteous indignation.
You ask WHY @VanJones68?? Because the Left’s over-the-top irrational hatred of Trump is far deeper than their love of this sovereign country.
— Andrea Edwards (@AndreaE456) April 7, 2019
Civility and compromise have been lost as well as just plain manners. The left is trying to turn us into socialist and maybe the next Civil War. We kill 300,000 babies of which 38% are black and we wonder why? This is no longer America…..its nothing but a bunch of tribes.
— Michael E Brown (@jag136) April 7, 2019
The democrats are way more violent than the bloods and crips
— Dj leo (@leomoya68) April 7, 2019
Thankfully, for every partisan comment there was an equally non-partisan “rebuttal.”
“One thing that would help would be for all to stop speaking about people in broad generalities. That is, saying that ‘all’ of this or that type of person thinks or acts the same. People need to be treated and referenced as individuals not groups,” Twitter user Dr.Linda Tribuzio, a liberal, wrote.
One thing that would help would be for all to stop speaking about people in broad generalities. That is, saying that “all” of this or that type of person thinks or acts the same. People need to be treated and referenced as individuals not groups.
— Dr. Linda Tribuzio (@DrLindaTribuzio) April 7, 2019
“You know the answer Van: POWER. Whether is is political or otherwise, power=control. And political ‘leaders’ have used race, religion, sex, etc to divide the masses because it keeps them in power and the rest of us fighting for survival,” conservative Chris Burke, a retired Air Force master sergeant, added.
You know the answer Van: POWER. Whether is is political or otherwise, power=control. And political “leaders” have used race, religion, sex, etc to divide the masses because it keeps them in power and the rest of us fighting for survival.
— Chris Burke (@fallsnative) April 7, 2019
Jones isn’t asking for liberals like Tribuzio and conservatives like Burke to sacrifice their core principles, values and beliefs. He’s just asking that they start viewing each other as disagreeing brothers and sisters versus as enemies who need to be targeted for destruction, if not death.
Like one of Jones’ favorite musicians, Tupac Shakur, sang before his death in 1996, “I got love for my brother, but we can never go nowhere unless we share with each other. We gotta start making changes, learn to see me as a brother instead of two distant strangers.”
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