WATCH: Jared Kushner Says Black People Need to ‘Want to Be Successful’

Jared Kushner

Getty Jared Kushner speaks during a press briefing at the White House on August 13, 2020

Jared Kushner came under fire on Monday for comments he made on Fox News saying that Black Americans need to “want to be successful.” The comments came as Kushner was sharing President Donald Trump’s “Platinum Plan” to create jobs for Black Americans if he is re-elected in November.

Many took to social media to criticize Kushner and what they said was his implication that some people in the Black community are simply “complaining” about their issues and don’t have success because they don’t want it. Here are Kushner’s comments:

Kushner said, “The thing we’ve seen in the Black community, which is mostly Democrat, is that President Trump’s policies are the policies that can help people break out of the problems that they’re complaining about, but he can’t want them to be successful more than they want to be successful.” He then went on to discuss what he called a “groundswell of support” for Trump in the Black community.

Kushner Was Criticized for That Comment & Comments About the Reaction to George Floyd’s Death

The comments in the above video were criticized by many, including the Democratic National Committee. Another comment made in the same interview was also highlighted on social media as problematic, which was Kushner’s comment about the reaction to George Floyd’s death. That clip is available here:

In that segment, Kushner said, “So look, there’s been a lot of discussion about the issues that were needed in the Black community for the last years but particularly, it intensified after the George Floyd situation. And, you know, you saw a lot of people who were just virtue signaling. They’d go on Instagram and cry or they would put a slogan on their jersey or write something on a basketball court. And quite frankly, that was doing more to polarize the country than it was to bring people forward.”

The Democratic National Committee’s press secretary Brandon Gassaway issued a statement, as reported by NBC News:

This dismissive approach to the issues that Black voters care about is indicative of Trump’s callousness and disregard for the lives of Black people. We cannot afford another four years of a White House that does not take our voices seriously and tells us to be grateful for whatever scraps are leftover from the bargaining table. We need leaders who not only value our input but prioritize and act upon it. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are those leaders, and Black voters will continue to show up to the polls in record numbers to ensure that Donald Trump, Jared Kushner, and this failed administration get the message.

Attorney Ben Crump tweeted: “Jared Kushner speaks as if Black people are lazy complainers who don’t want to be successful. This blatant DISRESPECT shows he has NO understanding of the Black community and its challenges that have spanned centuries. You can’t ‘fix’ these problems from this level of ego.”

U.S. Representative Don Beyer (D-Va.) wrote, “Born on third base, thinks he hit a triple. Few in US history have been given as much wealth or power without having to earn a thing as Jared Kushner. His father-in-law gave him the position he is failing at miserably, with deadly consequences. We will remember his casual racism.”

Author and TV host Padma Lakshmi said, “Ah yes, Trump’s 39 year-old ghoulish son-in-law on TV spouting casual racism & the ‘bootstrap’ myth 8 days before the election.”

Film director Morgan J. Freeman said, “This is the smug, arrogant, white supremacist, mindset that has oppressed and enslaved the Black community since Lincoln. It’s disgusting. It’s time to grab the scalpel and carve this racist cancer from the soul of America for good starting Nov 3.”

Kayleigh McEnany, White House Press Secretary, issued a statement after the clip was criticized accusing “internet trolls” of taking Kushner’s comments out of context, the outlet reported. She said in part, “It’s disgusting to see internet trolls taking Senior Advisor Jared Kushner out of context as they try to distract from President Trump’s undeniable record of accomplishment for the Black community.”

Trump Unveiled the ‘Platinum Plan’ in Late September Aimed at Providing Opportunities & Jobs for Black Americans

Trump’s “Platinum Plan” was unveiled on September 25 in a final effort before the election to get votes and support from Black communities, Bloomberg reported. The plan promises to “increase access to capital in Black communities by almost $500 billion,” according to the final published version of the plan.

The plan includes job creation, criminal justice reform, education and healthcare promises and is built on four pillars: opportunity, security, prosperity and fairness.

Lawrence Brown, visiting associate professor with the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, spoke to Bloomberg about his concerns with the plan. He said the policies in the plan are similar to other federal policies that end up mainly benefiting corporations. Brown said the money rarely reaches the communities most in need and incentive programs and jobs usually never materialize.

There’s nothing regarding addressing medical apartheid, housing segregation, the legacy of redlining, or the harms of root shock as a result of serial forced displacement. He doesn’t even have a plan to allocate additional resources to Black communities which have been devastated by Covid-19.

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