White House adviser Jared Kushner said that Black Americans must "want to be successful" in order to achieve systemic equality, during an interview on Fox & Friends on Monday. Kushner also accused white supporters of the Black Lives Matter movement of "virtue signaling" without any sincere feelings about racial justice. Kushner is being heavily criticized for racism based on these remarks.
"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 claimed. "But he can't want them to be successful more than they want to be successful." Critics of all races condemned these remarks by Kushner, noting that it was simply a perpetuation of the old and toxic stereotype that Black Americans are "lazy." Still, according to a report by Bloomberg, Trump is gaining support among Black voters overall, while losing support among white voters.
WATCH: Jared Kushner implies many Black Americans do not “want to be successful.” pic.twitter.com/QolVpNFxPP— DNC War Room (@DNCWarRoom) October 26, 2020
Trump's campaign strategists reportedly believe that he is gaining support from Black voters thanks to prison reform policies, which he signed after they were created by lawmakers in the U.S. Congress. They also believe his tax benefits have helped — though these programs have only prompted investors to spend more money in low-income communities, not offered any direct aid.
Regardless, Trump's relative gains among Black voters can hardly be called "support" overall. The president lost by about 82 percentage points among Black voters in 2016, whereas now, the polls show him losing by just 71 percentage points, according to FiveThirtyEight.com.
As for the massive uprising in protests, marches and mutual aid efforts under the Black Lives Matter banner in the last year, Kushner said all of this was "just virtue signaling." He went on: "They 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."
Meanwhile, Trump has been criticized for supporting militia groups with white supremacist ties, including the Proud Boys and the Boogaloo Bois. Even with his relative gains among Black voters this year, Trump is polling far behind former Vice President Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election.