I was listening to the This Week panel discussion between Mary Matalin, Katrina Vanden Heuvel, Van Jones, Bill Kristol moderated by George Stephanopoulos. At first, it was the standard mundane Right/Left commentary. Then I heard the dog-whistle against Van Jones.
Van Jones insulted by Mary Matalin
Mary Matalin used a dog whistle as she objected to Van Jones use of the appropriate ‘whitelash’ term to describe the 2016 result’s partial causality. Make no mistake, Mary Matalin came to the panel ready with the term ‘racial polemicist’ that can only be defined as a racist attack especially against someone like Van Jones. Van Jones is a person who continues to try to bring communities together. He showed this recently with his visit to a Trump supporting family where he gave them both respect, a platform, and civil push back.
Jones did not allow the dog whistle to go unchecked as it was evident the statement hurt given his record. Katrina Vanden Heuvel had the perfect admonishment for Matlin, “Have you no sense of decency,” she asked.
Transcript of the discussion
Mary Matalin: Can — can I have an honest moment here, people?
Katrina Vanden Heuvel: Please.
Mary Matalin: If — Van has, to my mind, retracted your whitelash with what you just said, no, that we have to not focus totally on the toxic stuff…
Van Jones: No, it…
Mary Matalin: OK. When you…
Mary Matalin: — if you don’t, you’re wrong.
Van Jones: No, you — you raised…
Mary Matalin: You are not — that’s not the path for progressives. We’ve all agreed at the outset of this show that the path — which is Ellison’s message, you say, is to go back to the Rust Belt.
Katrina Vanden Heuvel: Absolutely.
Mary Matalin: — and the rednecks. Well, you’re not going to get there with climate change and Putin and all the rest of it.
Katrina Vanden Heuvel: The people in South Carolina who run hotels, who understand — self-interest. They will be overrun by rivers and water if they don’t deal — deal with climate crisis.
George Stephanopoulos: Yeah, we’re just about out of time. Van, you said the whitelash…
Van Jones: I said and stand by it. I said that race was a part, and there was a part, that alt-right part, that was a part of the whitelash. And if you listened to the whole quote, you would agree with what I said.
Mary Matalin: I did listen and again you said what do I tell the kids? What I would tell your kids, I’m a black man in America who went to Yale, who has written books, who served a president and now…
Van Jones: And ninth generation American, ma’am, and I’m the first one in my family born with all my rights. I’m a ninth generation American. And so we have not escaped because I went to Yale all the problems of this country.
Mary Matalin: So, you should be a racial polemicist. You should be a racial reconciler.
Van Jones: You should be ashamed of your self to say that to my face. I have spent more time in this country…
Mary Matalin: Say it behind your back would be better?
Van Jones: Hold on a second, I spent more time than you have trying to be a racial reconciler.
Mary Matalin: Really? How do you know that? Do you anything about me? Do you know anything about me?
Van Jones: Apparently you don’t know anything about me.
Mary Matalin: Yes, I do know your daddy, your grandparents were teachers. Your grandfather was a bishop.
Van Jones: George, this is a problem that we have right now. It is in fact, the case there was a populist revolt in this country both Sanders and Trump, but one of them was marbled through with this alt-right stuff. If someone like myself, who is married to a white woman, who has spent my entire life building bridges, can’t point out the alt-right whitelash reaction without being accused of being a racial polemicist, we’re going to have a big problem.
Katrina Vanden Heuvel: Have you no sense of decency to say that to a man who has been a healer throughout horrific brutal campaign, he has spoken sanity to power. And to those who…
Mary Matalin: OK, my deepest apologies. You don’t know anything about me. You don’t know anything about my healing and I would say there are ways to get to reconciliation different from calling — focusing on the toxic elements as you did…
Van Jones: You have to talk about both.