White House senior adviser Jared Kushner defended his father-in-law Donald Trump’s policies toward Black America saying that people must “want to be successful” if those policies are going to work for them. But those remarks during a Fox News interview sparked major backlash on social media.
“One thing we’ve seen in a lot of 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,” Kushner said in an interview on “Fox & Friends” on Monday morning (Oct 26). “But he can’t want them to be successful more than they want to be successful.”
Kushner was speaking on policies that the Trump Administration has implemented targeting the Black community ranging from the First Step Act, to a bill he signed that increased spending for HBCUs to “Opportunity Zones” which give tax breaks to businesses that invest in poor areas.
But what Kushner said came off as condescending, and sounded like he was suggesting that African Americans as a group are lazy and do not strive for success. Some felt he was speaking directly from a perspective of privilege and would not have an understanding about economic challenges in the Black community.
Others say Black people aren’t paying him any mind.
Meanwhile others blatantly said Kushner was a racist for his comments.
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The Republican party has made last ditch efforts to capture some of the Black vote in recent weeks. But that’s an uphill climb. Pew Research Center data shows that over the past 20 years, Democrats have enjoyed a lengthy advantage with Black, Hispanic and Asian registered voters. About 83 percent of Black people either identify as Democrats or lean Democratic, as opposed to 10 percent identifying or leaning Republican. Most political watchers do not expect that to change much in the 2020 election.
Paris Dennard, Senior Communications Advisor for the Republican National Committee’s Black Media Affairs said they will still try to grab those they can, however minimal.
“I’m talking about the independent minded Black people who said let's cut the BS and give me the data,” Dennard told BET.com last week. “That’s who we’re going to try to reach. I don’t think everybody’s mind is made up and I think that small percentage can make the difference.”
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