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  • With everything that's going on right now,

  • our next guest is one of the most vocal figures

  • on cable news.

  • He's a CNN political commentator and the CEO

  • of the Reform Alliance.

  • Please welcome Van Jones.

  • Hey, Ellen, how are you?

  • You know, I'm OK.

  • How are you, Van?

  • Same as you.

  • That's a tough question to--

  • at times like this, I feel blessed, though,

  • to be able to try to help.

  • Well, I know you're a busy man.

  • And thank you so much for being here.

  • And that's what this show is about today,

  • is giving a platform for anybody that we should be listening to.

  • And it's weird, like you said, that even during the pandemic,

  • when somebody said how are you, it's a weird way to answer.

  • But now, how are you, it's a ridiculous question, you know?

  • I think we have to come up with a different greeting.

  • Ugh, like that.

  • Well, I tell you, listening to Mayor Keisha,

  • that brings me a lot of hope.

  • And I think the worst part about this

  • is, there is a way out of this.

  • I mean, I've never seen African Americans so hurt, I mean,

  • just devastated.

  • And I think part of the problem is, as you were talking about,

  • as a parent, you always have this belief--

  • we kind of sprinkle this fairy dust on our kids

  • that, listen, if you don't talk back, and if you don't run,

  • you don't have any drugs on you, then

  • somehow, you can save yourself.

  • This situation just broke all of us.

  • Because there is nothing you can tell your child

  • that would save them from a brute like that,

  • a sadist like that, in a uniform.

  • And it was a lynching.

  • That's what a lynching is, when you

  • deprive someone of their life in front of the whole community.

  • And lynchings have that effect.

  • They paralyze community.

  • They have people feeling completely helpless and broken.

  • And so this historical trauma that

  • ripped through our community, the reason

  • I'm starting to feel more hopeful, though,

  • is leaders are starting to rise up, like the mayor of Atlanta.

  • And there's probably 20, 30, 40 million white Americans

  • who, maybe they've always cared a little bit,

  • or they thought about it as a possible thing,

  • but it was number 17 on their list in terms of racism.

  • They are now, it's number one.

  • And they just want to know what to do.

  • That's a different problem than, I

  • don't believe racism is a problem,

  • or it's not that big a deal to me, to what do I do.

  • So we are in a better--

  • there is hope.

  • It's just hard as hell right now to keep

  • hanging onto it when what you see on TV just

  • gets worse, and worse, and worse.

  • Yeah.

  • And like you said, first of all, you have to tell your children,

  • if you don't run, if you don't-- if you have to even say that,

  • which is unbelievable.

  • And then you have Ahmaud Arbery running, jogging.

  • And it's just-- but I don't know how people are standing

  • by, and watching this, and not--

  • I'm sorry, I have so many questions to ask you.

  • But there are people--

  • people are saying Black Lives Matter.

  • And then there are white people saying, all lives matter.

  • And I think that needs to be explained

  • to people who really don't understand why

  • that's wrong to say right now.

  • Yeah.

  • Well, I think that there are people--

  • if you're not close this community,

  • and you don't understand what we go through literally

  • every single day, every time you get in a car, you're nervous.

  • Every time your kid leaves the door,

  • you're nervous, not because you're afraid of a mugger,

  • but because you just don't know if there

  • might be some negative interaction with law

  • enforcement.

  • But I think when people hear Black Lives Matter,

  • they might hear, only black lives matter,

  • black lives matter more than white lives.

  • What they mean is, black lives matter, too.

  • When you hear "Black Lives Matter,"

  • just add the "too" on there.

  • Because that's really what we're saying.

  • Our lives matter, too.

  • And I don't think anybody can argue with that.

  • It's amazing.

  • Because we live in two different countries.

  • The person sitting next to you in the cubicle, or on the bus,

  • or on the airplane, if they have skin that looks like mine,

  • we are literally in a different movie.

  • And it's so hard to believe that.

  • But you don't get to the point where a police officer could

  • literally kill a man in broad daylight, and in his own mind,

  • think he was doing something good, if you hadn't had

  • a whole bunch of other disrespects, and disrespects,

  • and contempt for black life, and contempt for black life, that

  • was never checked along the way, so that even other police

  • officers are standing there, and they don't intervene either.

  • Even though people are screaming, he's dying,

  • he's dying, he's calling for his mother,

  • he's urinating on himself, you don't see him as human.

  • You say, well, that's terrible, that one terrible officer.

  • But think about the ways that we all

  • are complicit in systems that choke off black life, that

  • choke off black possibility.

  • At your workplace, how many African-Americans

  • are in your workplace?

  • How many African-Americans have you

  • hired, or your accountants, your dentists, your lawyer?

  • How many African-Americans are in your internship program?

  • The society is choking off black life, and black opportunity,

  • and black dignity all the time, in boardrooms,

  • and in bank branches.

  • And so it's invisible.

  • And then suddenly, on one day, the whole world can see it.

  • And that's the horrific tragedy of it,

  • is that it takes something like this

  • to make visible in the most brutal form

  • a reality that exists in other forms all of the time.

  • And I think that's why it's important for us

  • as white people to have to do the work.

  • The black people have done the work,

  • which shouldn't be incumbent upon you and tragedies

  • in your community to somehow educate us.

  • Because you have done the work.

  • You've built this country.

  • You've built this entire country.

  • And we're reaping from it.

  • And now, it's time for us to do the work.

  • And we can't depend on you.

  • We need to finally say, you guys have done the work.

  • We're doing the work now.

  • Yeah, now it's time for us to build this country

  • in a different way.

  • Now it's time for us to do our part.

  • And give back.

  • Yeah.

  • Yeah, and that's what we're going to do.

  • We have to take a break.

  • And these are all good conversations that

  • will continue every single day.

  • It can't just be a show.

  • We'll be right back.

With everything that's going on right now,

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Van Jones on What Gives Him Hope

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    林宜悉 posted on 2020/07/03
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