Jared Kushner came under fire on Monday for his commentary about Black voters who oppose President Donald Trump and his policies. During an interview on Fox & Friends, Kushner suggested that Trump's economic policies could benefit Black communities, but they didn't "want to be successful" badly enough. Before long, Kushner was called out for racism all over 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 claimed. "But he can't want them to be successful more than they want to be successful." Kushner's rhetoric was compared to racist propaganda going back to the age of slavery when stereotypes claimed that Black Americans are "lazy." Meanwhile, he was called insensitive for his remarks on the Black Lives Matter movement when he said that most supporters were just "virtue signaling" and did not truly care about police violence.
Jared Kushner on the Black community: "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 that they want to be successful." pic.twitter.com/SX9vWiAfag— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) October 26, 2020
Critics identified Kushner's commentary as bald-faced racism, and called him out for hypocrisy too. However, some feared that Kushner was being inflammatory on purpose — perhaps to bury other headlines that could be more damaging to the Trump campaign overall. According to Bloomberg's report, Trump has been gaining ground with Black voters compared to the last election.
Still, Trump remains far from meaningful success with Black voters, as the latest polls show him behind by 71 percentage points compared to former Vice President Joe Biden. This stat is better than the same metric from the 2016 election, where he lost the Black vote by 82 points, but still not ideal.
Viewers questioned how Kushner's comments could have been calculated to woo these voters, while others argued that there was no calculation behind it at all. Here is a look at how Twitter responded to Kushner on Monday.
You have to hand it to Jared Kushner, because that's the only way he's ever achieved or accomplished anything his whole life.— Josh Gondelman (@joshgondelman) October 26, 2020
🤦🏽♀️— GMK (@nurseratched68) October 26, 2020
Many users thought that Kushner's comments were ironically revealing, since he himself owes much of his success to his father-in-law. Even then, they argued, his success has been mixed at best.prevnext
When they go into full race mode, are they really that cluelessly dispassionate, or are they knowingly distracting from something worse? https://t.co/9ssOtwiymw— 1Table&aStudyGroup (@studygrouptable) October 26, 2020
Some users feared that Kushner's overt racist rhetoric was a sign that the Trump administration had something else to hide. Many believe that Trump uses inflammatory stories to bury other news stories, and some guessed that that was the case here.prevnext
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.” https://t.co/KyuTgPZv9a— Rep. Barbara Lee (@RepBarbaraLee) October 26, 2020
The only reason Jared Kushner has his job is because his father-in-law is president. By voting Trump out of office, you are also voting this ignorant man who was born with a silver spoon in his mouth out of the White House. https://t.co/bqyHWYAdqz— Stand Up America (@StandUpAmerica) October 26, 2020
Critics pointed out that Kusnher has benefited greatly from the policies he was espousing — and from his familial link to Trump. They questioned why Kushner would be taken as an objective voice since he reaps the rewards of the existent system.prevnext
Wow, how much Koolaid has @jaredkushner imbibed? Family loyalty is to be admired, but really? This is basically saying it's the media and lazy black people's fault. Shame on you! https://t.co/0k3gThGev2— Alan Cumming (@Alancumming) October 26, 2020
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. pic.twitter.com/fmILMVbrzY— Ben Crump (@AttorneyCrump) October 26, 2020
Kushner's words were so surprising that some assumed that the whole world would respond to them in the same way. They tried to shame the White House adviser for the extreme rhetoric.prevnext
He sounds like Candace Owens.— AriLoki (@arilochi) October 26, 2020
She's their black American speaker....... who doesn't identify as a black American. Blames pic.twitter.com/dC18fap4Ze
Commenters seized on this moment to point out other instances of over-the-top rhetoric from the Trump administration or sympathetic public figures. This selection included a recent comment from Candace Owens.prevnext
Closing message of "People crying after watching a human being slowly killed on camera were faking it for likes" is another interesting move https://t.co/7h7cLqsy0K— Benjy Sarlin (@BenjySarlin) October 26, 2020
Some users tried to lead the conversation away from Kushner and towards the people he spoke insensitively about — Black Americans who lost loved ones to police violence, such as the family of George Floyd. They questioned how Kushner could say that they were "virtue signaling" after such a shocking and tremendous loss.prevnext
Of this I am certain: The average Black person in this country puts in more work by noon than Jared Kushner puts in the whole damn day. https://t.co/exYSJZ6pAp— Hakeem Jefferson (@hakeemjefferson) October 26, 2020
Finally, some users refuted Kushner's claims by arguing that the workers Kushner was referring to likely put in more work overall than he does himself. Many mocked Kushner's mission of seeking peace in the Middle East, and questioned what else he really does on a day-to-day basis in his capacity as an "adviser."prev