Presidential adviser Jared Kushner says that President Donald Trump wants to help black people in America, but they have to “want to be successful” for his policies to work.
“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,” Mr Kushner said on Fox & Friends.
Mr Kushner, who is President Trump’s son-in-law, also criticised prominent people who raised their voices after the killing of George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody, but then did not follow through and work to find ways to improve the lives of black people in America.
Right, if we want to be successful. He’s talking to folks who have suffered and endured systemic racism and historic tokenism. Geez us, we just better vote.
— Donna Brazile (@donnabrazile) October 26, 2020
“You saw a lot of people who were just virtue signalling — they go on Instagram and cry, or they would, you know, put a slogan on their jersey or write something on a basketball court,” Mr Kushner said.
“Quite frankly, that was doing more to polarise the country than it was to bring people forward. You solve problems with solutions.”
Rep Don Beyer accused Mr Kushner of “casual racism”. Former Democratic National Committee Chair Donna Brazile wrote on Twitter: “He’s talking to folks who have suffered and endured systemic racism and historic tokenism.”
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany defended Mr Kushner, saying that “internet trolls” took his words out of context. She said they were trying to distract from President Trump’s “undeniable record of accomplishment” for black people.
President Trump, who has been trying to appeal to the black community, has been promoting his attempts to set up economic opportunity zones, provide steady funding for historically black colleges and universities, and institute criminal justice reforms.