White House adviser and President Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner came under heavy criticism after he said Monday that Black Americans have to want to help themselves in order for the president’s policies to help them.
Kushner said on “Fox & Friends” that the president can help people in the Black community “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 also said that many people in the anti-police brutality and discrimination protests that followed the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis were “just virtue signaling” – a term for empty gestures of outrage or anguish on social media.
“They go on Instagram and cry, or they would, you know, put a slogan on their jersey or write something on a basketball court,” Kushner said, dismissing the expressions of outrage and solidarity that many made after video surfaced of Floyd being pinned with a police officer’s knee on his neck. “Quite frankly, that was doing more to polarize the country than it was to bring people forward. You solve problems with solutions.”
Kushner’s implication that Black Americans lack a drive to succeed and to address the problems facing their community drew criticism that he is blind to his own privilege and that his own success is attributable more to his family’s wealth than his own efforts.
“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,” tweeted Rep. Don Beyer, D-Va. “His father-in-law gave him the position he is failing at miserably, with deadly consequences. We will remember his casual racism.”
“Jared Kushner is the face of white privilege and nepotism. He doesn’t want to change our racist, broken system because he benefits from it. He’s the last person that should be lecturing the Black community on the value of ‘hard work,'” said Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif.